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Briggett- Passionate Mom

COURTNEY picture (360x640)My name is Briggett Flear. My husband, Gary and I have three wonderful boys and a beautiful daughter!  We are an everyday, typical family. We are also very proud to say we are Christians and belong to Northside Baptist Church in Princeton, KY.

On January 26, 2015 our world changed entirely. Our beautiful 19-year-old daughter, was taken from this world in a tragic car accident. She was a vibrant, full of life young lady, with the whole world ahead of her! We were completely devastated! Her brothers were crushed and our grief seemed absolutely unbearable! We went immediately into what I call “do what you got to do mode” after her death. Planning a funeral, being concerned for her boyfriend Jason’s injuries, and just maintaining our family, was really all my husband and I could do at that time. (And we struggled/accomplishing that!) Our own grief compounded as we tried so hard to comfort our sons. A week later, we received word that her boyfriend had passed as well! We Praise God for a supportive church and people, well friends, who served us above and beyond in those days! We also praise Him that Jason’s family had the awesome privilege of seeing to it that Jason went on to save lives through his organ donations!

You see, we didn’t think about things like, organ donation or saving others at the initial time we got the news our daughter was gone; it was so sudden and unexpected. We did believe she was an organ donor, however we made a mistake and assumed some things. First, we thought if something had been usable, we would have received a call. We pondered another scenario we thought possible. We thought perhaps, due to the nature of the accident and our not being the ones to identify her body, we assumed her license might have been in evidence with the state police and her desire to donate her organs overlooked. And lastly, we just began to doubt ourselves, perhaps we were remembering incorrectly and she had answered “No” to the question when asked while her license was being printed. Whatever the reason, we were not contacted about potentially donating Courtney’s organs.

Recently, Courtney’s license was returned to us and we were able to confirm beyond any doubt that she was indeed an organ and tissue donor. She has the blue heart right on her license that symbolizes her wish! Circuit Court clerks and County clerks united some years ago with Trust for Life to incorporate their desire to support organ donation by registering you and witnessing for you, your desire for such a cause! The County clerks currently offer Trust for Life license plates to offer support. Each year the plates are renewed for an extra 10 dollars that goes directly to the Trust For Life, Kentucky’s very own organ donation education program. However, even with all those safety catches and dreams of ending the shortage of organs available for transplant, there is a loop hole in the law. Any person, other than hospitals, that report deaths are not mandated by law to call KODA (Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates). They aren’t mandated to find out if the decedent is registered or even to let KODA know of an already registered donors’ passing.  Therefore countless numbers of individuals across the US and Kentucky are not getting their final wishes fulfilled. Families who perhaps have children too young or seniors who don’t drive anymore, who pass away elsewhere other than a hospital, aren’t necessarily being reported, or reported in time to allow KODA the opportunity to do their job!! It’s not much more than a two minute phone call with KODA needed to fulfill this task.

What my family and I are proposing,  is for the laws that are already in place about organ donation to be revised and worded in such a way that all parties who report deaths are mandated to call KODA every time, regardless of physical proof of registration.  For me and my family, this one thing could have provided a ray of light in our very darkest of hours. I promise my family will never assume again and we pray yours won’t either! We also pray that these laws can and will be changed!  Please join us in our fight to change this legislation.

Join the Kentucky Organ Donor registry and speak to your family about your wishes.  One simple “yes” could help save the lives of many!

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