The Good Stuff: One heart beating for two - part two

Kansas donor heart saves Shreveport infant’s life
Updated: Oct. 2, 2018 at 5:30 AM CDT
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This is the kind of good stuff that can come from one of the worst days a parent will ever experience. A decision that delivered life, closure to a Caddo family

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Erin and Trevor Young of Topeka, Kansas welcomed their first born into this world in the spring of 2016, and the months as a new family quickly began adding up.

“Your Daddy was tearing up and we both loved you from the start,” Erin read from a letter she penned to her daughter Mya. The passage detailed March 11, 2016 when Mya was born.

“Joy overflowed in Mommy and Daddy’s heart,” the letter continued.

The letter wasn't written in the days following Mya's birth, but in the days following her death.

“After three brain death tests, they pronounced you dead on the morning of October 16, 2016,” Erin read from her letter.

The letter also detailed how the decision was made to donate Mya’s organs.

Mya's heart would be rushed to Shreveport to save the life of an infant named Ivanna Harris.

Click here to read part one of this story.

“We’ve got a heart for Ivanna. I screamed and yelled,” Ivanna’s mother Valarie remembered.

Ivanna’s heart was giving out almost daily until new life was delivered with Mya’s seven-month-old heart.

“When we heard that her heart was going to a three-month-little girl, joy went throughout the entire room,” Erin said.

She added they knew organ donation was something they wanted to do, almost immediately.

"I never saw her heart rate faulter. I never saw her blood pressure faulter. I knew her heart was strong."

Mya's heart, liver and intestines were all medically viable to save lives all across the United States.

“When a family brings up organ donation, especially when it’s a tiny baby, it touches our hearts so deeply, that in their time of grief, they’re thinking of other people,” explained Megan Maciel with the Midwest Transplant Network.

In the months that followed Mya's death, Erin began volunteering as an organ donor ambassador, sharing Mya's story with hundreds all across the Kansas - Missouri region.

“I get a little nervous, but when I get to that stage, I tell myself it’s in honor of her, keeping her memory alive,” said Erin.

“When I talk about her and speak in front of people, that’s when I feel the closest to her.”

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