Wall teen's donated pancreas changed woman's life

ASHBURY PARK PRESS | Jerry Carino

15-year-old Luke Bautista's pancreas saved a Pa. mom. She reached out to his parents. 'I consider them to be family.'

Chris Chris Bautistia, right, embraces Missy Masse at the NJ Sharing Network headquarters in New Providence.(Photo: Nick Benedetto, NJ Sharing Network.)

Most mornings when she opens her eyes, Missy Masse reaches for the insulin pump.
It's not there.

The 37-year-old Pennsylvania mom forgets: She has been cured of diabetes. But she’ll always remember the reason — an organ donation from 15-year-old Luke Bautista of Wall.

After Luke died in an accident at home last May, his organs helped save the lives of five people. Masse got his pancreas.

“I feel amazing,” she said. “I still, some days, wake up and think it’s not real.”

What did feel real was a deep sense of gratitude, one that led her to contact Luke’s family. This is a complicated matter in the organ donation world. It’s not like sending a thank-you card for a wedding gift. Chances are a deceased donor was relatively young, healthy and taken by a tragic accident. There are emotional barriers. Continue reading
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