Le Sueur teenager's death saves the lives of others

Le Sueur News Herald | Phillip Weyhe

Releasing the dove Judy Fairbridge, left, and Barb McMillen, right, release a dove in honor of McMillen's daughter, Dackotah Montgomery, and fellow LS-H student, Katelyn Hank. Fairbridge received Montgomery's liver through Lifesource donation. (Philip Weyhe/Le Sueur News-Herald)

It's a bit of an intimidating question: Do you want to be an organ donor?

Former Le Sueur-Henderson High School student Dackotah Montgomery had the answer as a teenager, before she even took her driver's license test. She later died in a car accident in 2013, and her consent to donation would prove vital.

Many 16-year-olds looking down at a driver's license application aren't so sure. Their mind is more concerned with parallel parking skills and going the correct direction on a one-way, but here they are, expected to answer a question that may have impact on anything from their own beliefs to the lives of other people.

They can always later register as an organ donor, but many people may never even realize the importance of the decision. Stories like the one of Montgomery and 66-year-old Judy Fairbridge, of Larimore, North Dakota, serve to highlight that importance.

Fairbridge was in attendance at the second Squeals and Wheels Festival in Le Sueur, celebrating the lives of Montgomery and another former LS-H student, Katelyn Hank, who both died in 2013 accidents. For Fairbridge, it was more a practice in thankfulness than in celebration. Continue reading