Victim of fatal ATV crash donates tissue
Department is still trying to figure out what caused an All-Terrain Vehicle to flip over this weekend, killing a woman from Cicero. As that work continues, the victim's family is taking comfort in the fact that she made a final donation that will improve the lives of dozens of people.
Linda Muraca, 38, was attending a cookout with family and friends in West Monroe when the ATV turned over on Gulf Bridge Road.
"She was my baby sister and half a part of me will always be missing," said Muraca's sister Lori Lichorobiec. "We're all devastated. That's the best word you can use to describe it."
Muraca was taken in an instant, after a life spent caring for others. She left behind a daughter, her parents and a big sister.
"She would do anything for anyone," Lichorobiec said. "And she did it in the smallest of ways sometimes, but that meant the most."
Even in her final act, Muraca gave in a big way. She became an organ donor, providing skin, bones and connective tissue to help more than 60 people.
"The skin is able to help burn victims as well as reconstructive surgery post mastectomy," said Joan Burke of the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation."
Some of Muraca's donations will be used in the roughly five million tissue transplants that happen each year. Burke argues that tissue donations are often overlooked because the operations are so frequent and they don't necessarily save a person's life. "Repairing that can restore the quality of life," she says. "Especially if they have their whole adult life is ahead of them."
As Lichorobiec thinks about her sister's life cut short, she takes solace in the improvement she made to other lives. Her sister will live on, through many other people. "Someone is able to see with my sister's eyes. I don't think there's anything more beautiful than that," she said.
An average tissue donor can help up to 50 people.
To sign up to be a donor, you'll need to print a form from DonateLifeNY.net, sign it and mail it to the state. The process can also be completed at a DMV office.