Father, grandmother of slain 5-year-old say Lily loved everyone, enjoyed dancing

The Topeka Capital-Journal | Samantha Foster
Lily Nichols, 5, loved her kittens. Lily was fatally wounded Monday in what police described as a drive-by shooting in East Topeka.

Five-year-old Lily Nichols, who was fatally wounded in a Monday night drive-by shooting, recently finished kindergarten at Ross Elementary School. She would have turned 6 years old later this month.

Her father, Bruce Nichols, told The Topeka Capital-Journal he was glad he had been able to attend Lily’s kindergarten graduation.

“But now I’ll never get to see her graduate college or high school,” he said.

Lily died Thursday at Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center, days after a bullet struck her while she was riding in the back seat of a vehicle in southeast Topeka’s Hi-Crest neighborhood. Although she was brain-dead, she was kept on life support until Thursday afternoon, when her organs were harvested for donation.

Debra Nichols, Lily’s grandmother, said Lily was “going to keep on being awesome.” A woman in her 60s will receive Lily’s eyes after they have been quarantined for six months, Nichols said; her kidneys will go to a 69-year-old woman who was a 100-percent match; her small intestine, a rare donation, will go to a 63-year-old grandmother; her liver went to a 2-year-old boy; and her heart valves, pancreas and spleen also were donated. Continue reading

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