Long Island resident Katrina was devastated when her five-week-old son, Jaleel, stopped breathing for no reason. It was the hardest day of the new mother’s life. The only thing that brings Katrina comfort is knowing that her son went on to be an organ donor hero by saving the lives of two other babies with his heart and liver.
“When they asked about donating his organs, my dad instantly said ‘no,’” she remembers. “I was 18 and I’m a daddy’s girl. I usually followed everything he said, but for some reason I said ‘yes’ to donating Jaleel’s organs. My spirit told me different and I’m so glad I followed my heart on this one.”
The young hero went on to save a two-month-old boy with his heart and an 11-month-old girl with his liver. In fact, the liver recipient is now a mother herself all thanks to Katrina and Jaleel’s selfless gifts.
“He was just 5 weeks old. There were no memories for us to share together, so organ donation gave me a story to tell about my baby,” says Katrina.
Katrina shares her story area in an effort to keep Jaleel’s memory alive and to encourage others to sign up as lifesaving organ donors.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, but after that thought I remember that he saved two baby’s lives and I stand up a little bit taller because he left a legacy,” she says. “I am absolutely proud of Jaleel for saving lives.”
To learn more about how you can become an organ donor hero, please visit LiveOnNY.org.