Abilene mother encourages residents to become organ donors after daughter’s death

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – April is National Donate Life Month, which aims to encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to honor those that have saved lives through the gift of donation. 

An Abilene mother has spent her career coordinating organ donations, and had to go make the painstaking decision herself nearly 10 years ago. 

America Farrell never expected to be in this position.

“Never, I never did,” said America Farrell.  

Farrell worked as an organ donor coordinator, and says she vividly remembers her first organ donor case.  

“It was a little 3-year-old boy,” said Farrell.  

The boy was hit by a car while riding his bike.  

“I remember going in the bathroom, and putting a paper towel on the floor, and kneeling down, and praying to God, He could get me through this, and I said, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this.’ I can’t imagine ever going through some kind of tragedy like that,” said Farrell. 

A few years later, her own daughter, Anna Eaton Thomas would die from a brain aneurysm, and Farrell would experience the same pain her patients’ families endured.

Farrell says she feels like she was being prepared for that experience all along.  

“Yes, of course I didn’t know it at the time,” said Farrell. 

Farrell says the pain was unbearable. 

“How am I ever expected to live my life without you?” said Farrell. 

 She says it was an easy decision to donate her daughter’s organs. 

“I wanted her death to mean something,” said Farrell. 

Now Farrell still has a strong relationship with the woman who received her daughter’s liver and the man who received her daughter’s heart. 

Farrell is now a vice president at Hendrick Health and encourages all families to have a conversation about if they want to donate their organs to help save lives. 

To register to be an organ donor, click the link. 

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