Pam Silvestri, Southwest Transplant Alliance
26-year-old Jessica Terrazas (soon changing to her married name of Ortega) of Midland will drive to Temple, TX this weekend with her new husband, Juan, to meet the family that made it possible for her to be a wife.
Before her liver and small bowel transplant in 2005, Jessica's health was not good. Just two years later (just this past February!), she was walking down the aisle and she is now healthy enough to drive to Temple for this emotional meeting.
Jessica's donor was Bettina Keith, 21, of KILLEEN. She passed away in August of 2005 (many local news outlets covered this at the time and should have footage/clips) after suffering injuries from a gun shot wound inflicted by her ex-husband, who subsequently took his own life. Bettina's mother, Michele Keith of Killeen, chose to think of others during a very difficult time, and Bettina's organs saved five lives, including that of Jessica Terrazas.
Both Jessica and Michele (and two of Bettina's sisters) will be introduced as part of Southwest Transplant Alliance's annual Donor Family Celebration, scheduled for 2-3:30 Sunday at Scott & White Hospital (McClain Dining Room). **If you would like photos, let me know as I am confident Temple and Killeen news outlets would be happy to help with this.**
Texas' new organ donor registry allows individuals to officially and legally declare their wishes to be a donor, and also takes the burden off of families to make that decision at such a difficult time. To register, visit www.donatelifetexas.org or www.donevidatexas.org. For more information contact Southwest Transplant Alliance at www.organ.org.