The Gift of Giving Life - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Gift of Giving Life

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - One Kennewick family made a tough decision when their daughter died in a tragic accident. They agreed to donate her organs to give life to someone else.

It's been nearly three years since the Casey family lost their daughter Sara. They realized they couldn't do anything to bring her back, but they did find a way she could bring life to others in need.

Home videos and old photographs are all the Caseys have left. But shortly after she passed away, her parents decided they would donate her organs to give others a second chance.

"What we knew her values were, and what her friends told us about what she had told them about organ donation, we knew it would be what Sara wanted," said Lori Casey, Sara's Mother.   

At the same time, Kristine Smith, a lawyer from Seattle, was suffering from a rare form of Emphysema. She needed oxygen tanks to breath, and her doctor didn't anticipate a pleasant future.

"He explained to me that I had probably less than two years," said Smith.   

During a lung transplant, Smith received Sara's lungs. It's a gift she said she could never repay.

"I can breathe. I can be mobile again. I can walk around, and run around," Smith said.    

Shortly after the transplant, Smith and the Caseys began writing each other. Smith sent gifts. One day they decided it to meet, and they've developed a friendship both cherish.

"Oh, it's almost as important as well as my own family, because they are the ones that have sustained my life. They are such wonderful people," said Smith.   

"It's nice that the death of our daughter comes with life," said Terrance Casey, Sara's Father.