Family and friends honor 16-year-old Bishop girl who died Tuesday after car wreck
Family honors her wish to be an organ donor
CORPUS CHRISTI — Rebecca Sanchez hoped to be a nurse one day, spent her summers interning at a hospital and told her family that if something ever happened to her she wanted to be an organ donor.
At 16, Rebecca was too young to make that decision alone. But when she died Tuesday after a traffic collision, her family honored that wish.
“She was a giver of love and life,” said Jackie Mendez, who oversaw Rebecca during her internships at Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg.
“She always came in with the most beautiful smile, ready to work and ready to help,” Mendez said.
On Wednesday morning, staff at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial honored Rebecca and her family with a prayer service and flag ceremony. Rebecca’s mother, father and older brother raised a flag in front of the hospital that read: “Donate Life: Honoring Organ, Eye and Tissue Donors.”
“It was tough for them to lose her, but even so, her family made the brave decision to give the gift of life to another,” said Rey Orozco who provides family support services for Southwest Transplant Alliance. “She will continue to save lives.”
Orozco said there are more than 100,000 people waiting for organ donations around the country and 9,000 in Texas.
Emergency responders were called about 5:45 p.m. Monday on Business Highway 77 at North Sixth Street after Rebecca’s Chevy Impala pulled out in front of a Dodge pickup driven by a 36-year-old Kingsville man, police said. The car, in which her 19-month-old sister was a passenger, was struck on the driver’s side.
Her sister is in stable condition at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, officials said.
Eden Hernandez, assistant superintendent for Bishop Consolidated Independent School District, has known Rebecca since she was born.
Rebecca wanted to be a pediatric nurse one day and threw herself into her health science classes, said Hernandez, who for years has worked with her mother, who is principal at Bishop Primary School.
“She was such a popular girl and huge part of the Bishop community,” he said. “She is going to be dearly missed.”
The school district has sent several counselors to Bishop High School, where Rebecca was a junior, to talk students through the grief process, he said.
Sister Elizabeth Smith, spiritual care giver at Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg, said Rebecca would hand out teddy bears to young patients at the hospital and do whatever she could to make them laugh.
“She was as special child of God who gave joy and compassion to everyone she met,” Smith said.
“In death, Becca has given life to others and she will live on like a shining star.”