Cross Lanes man meets organ donor’s friend

CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL | Kayla Ashbury
CHRIS DORST | Gazette-Mail photos
Brett “Buzzy” Morgan, of Cross Lanes, visits with Julia Burgess of Suffolk, Virginia, after meeting her for the first time during a party at Coonskin Park Saturday marking the 10-year anniversary of his liver transplant. Burgess’s best friend, Devon Thornton of Norfolk, Virginia, was Morgan’s donor.
Brett “Buzzy” Morgan, of Cross Lanes, visits with Julia Burgess of Suffolk, Virginia, after meeting her for the first time during a party at Coonskin Park Saturday marking the 10-year anniversary of his liver transplant. Burgess’s best friend, Devon Thornton of Norfolk, Virginia, was Morgan’s donor.

Brett “Buzzy” Morgan and his family celebrated the tenth anniversary of his liver transplant Saturday with a special guest — the best friend of his donor.

Morgan and Julia Burgess-Ballinger met for the first time during a celebration at Coonskin Park. They had corresponded for 10 years after the death of Burgess-Ballinger’s best friend and Morgan’s donor, Devon Thornton.

“It’s just amazing the connection you have,” Morgan, 57, of Cross Lanes, said. “Obviously her best friend died, so it’s kind of mixed emotions. What was so wonderful for my family was devastating for hers.”

Burgess-Ballinger, who traveled to the event from Suffolk, Virginia, said she thought Thornton always knew she would die young.

“Organ donation was so important to her,” Burgess-Ballinger said. “She would even be kind of a pest, she would go around and check people’s driver’s licenses to see if they had checked yes for donor. She felt really, really strongly about it.”

The two had been friends for 23 years. They met at high school in Hampton Rhodes, Virginia when they were 15 years old, and became “inseparable.” Continue reading
__________________________________________________

You have the power to SAVE lives.  Register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor
Go to: RegisterMe.org   |   Social Media Declaration: #OrganDonor
To ensure your gift is honored, share your donation wishes with family and friends
__________________________________________________

Comments