A grieving mother who lost her teenage daughter provided the gift of life to one of her closest friends.
Vicki Olds, of Illinois, lost her daughter, Domonique “Nikki” Smith, at age 18 last year but donated her child’s heart so that her friend could live, reports ABC News.
The touching tale unfolded after Old’s daughter passed suddenly in June 2015. While the loss was a powerful blow, Olds saw fit to provide her friend, Tanisha Basham, with an opportunity of a lifetime.
From ABC News:
Basham, who was suffering from congestive heart failure, had been on a waiting list for a new heart for 18 months, according to the Advocate Heart Institute at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
“I was overwhelmed,” Basham, 41, said in a press release. Though she didn’t want to accept the generous donation at first, Olds insisted and told her, ‘Tanisha, you’re like my sister. You’ll always have my baby with you.'”
Basham was then immediately admitted for a direct transplantation surgery performed by Dr. Antone Tatooles and Dr. Patroklos “Pat” Pappas, according to the medical center.
Dr. Tatooles said in the press release that he’s never witnessed a heart organ donation with such clear direction. Tatooles added that Olds’ donation was “incredibly generous” in helping save Basham’s life.
Basham honors Nikki by keeping a photo as a screensaver on her phone to remind her of the good fortune of Old’s generosity, writes the website.
WGN-TV reports that Basham, a mother of three, and Olds appeared together Tuesday at a press conference.