Organ recipient meets family of 8-year-old donor who died in accident

Jeremiah Martinez died in 2015, donated liver

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The recipient of an organ donation says there are not enough thank yous to give the family of an 8-year-old boy who saved her life.

Jeremiah Martinez died in 2015 in an accident, but he had told his family of his desire to become an organ donor.

Destiny Lehew-Collins said that decision has given her a second chance at life.

“I don’t have the words to say how powerful that is as young as he was,” Lehew-Collins said. “To know I’m one of eight lives he saved, it’s not just me, it’s a much bigger picture.”

On Friday, Martinez’s family got a chance to meet Lehew-Collins face to face and see his functioning liver inside of her at University Hospital.

His mother, Desiree Martinez, said he was giving, so it wasn’t a surprise to know his desire to continue giving even after death.

“She gets to be with her family, enjoy more of life. It was something that he wanted to do so that’s what he did. My baby is a sweet angel,” Martinez said.

The emotions were still raw, but Martinez's family was grateful to see a part of him continue to live in someone else.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are more than 115,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a transplant. One person could help save eight lives, the organization says.

Click on this link to learn more about organ donation.

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