Alna Organ Donor’s Death Gives Life to Others


Joanne “Jojo” Russell holds up a sign reading “I (love you) Haiden” at the top of Mount Katahdin. Russell passed away unexpectedly Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo courtesy Margie Hodgdon)
Joanne “Jojo” Russell lived a life of giving. In death, she continues to give life to others. Although her life ended at the age of 37, she lived her life to its fullest, making every minute of every day count for something, according to family members and her many friends.

Her life ended quickly and unexpectedly. She had a brain aneurysm during a 15-minute break from her job at Shaw’s Supermarket in Wiscasset. She passed away at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Dec. 6, 2016.

After her passing, family members, knowing she gave to people all her life, assumed she would want to continue giving. Their assumptions proved correct when they checked her driver’s license, which indicated that she was an organ donor.

A letter to the family from New England Donor Services shared the outcome of Jojo’s generosity to other people. Her right kidney and liver were successfully transplanted into a woman in her 30s who is now back home with her family. Continue reading