The Towerlight | Sarah Lacourte
When senior chemistry major Lena DeVietro was 16, her mother, Susan, died from a sudden brain aneurism.
“In the beginning when they first tell you, you are in shock. I was pretty calm at it in the beginning,” Lena DeVietro said. “You think they’re going to come back, but you never forget.”
Although her 44-year-old mother was signed up as an organ donor, the hospital required the permission of family members to use Susan DeVietro’s organs for individuals needing transplants. The DeVietro family had to decide whether her mother’s organs would thrive in a stranger’s body.
“In that moment all you think is that you don’t want someone going through the same thing you’re going through,” DeVietro said. “I feel like when someone dies, it’s a hard thing. They get to have that person back in their life because of this transplant.”
DeVietro said her mother’s kidneys, corneas and liver were transplanted to save the lives of five people she has never met.
“I got a letter a couple months after the transplant about whom the organs went to,” she said. “One of them was a 12-year-old boy and one of them was a wife and a mother.”