Newark toddler lives on in children who needed second chance

NJ.com | Barry Carter

Patti Jackson sits with Abel Montesino at her home in Newark on December 8, 2016 . Montesino received Jackson's 13 month old daughter's kidney after she was hit by a car. (Alexandra Pais | For NJ Advance Media)
Five years ago, Abel Montesino missed an entire year of school in Newark.

The then-eighth-grader was on dialysis, a tiresome process that began to wear on him, making the 14-year-old teen doubt he'd ever receive the kidney he desperately needed.

"I was getting depressed,'' he said. "Dialysis was painful."

That same year -- on April 7, 2011 -- 13-month-old Zoe Jackson was with her cousin and aunt as they crossed South 18th Street at 18th Avenue in Newark. At the same time, a stolen Jeep, with two teens in it, came speeding the wrong way along the one-way street. The driver lost control of the Jeep and it hit another vehicle, sending that car crashing into Zoe and her family members.

The little, chubby-cheeked girl died two days later. But her mother, Patti Jackson, didn't want that to be the end of her daughter's life.

Zoe lives on through organ donation. Her heart went to a 2-year-old boy; her liver to a 1-year-old boy. Continue reading
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