Mother urges organ donation after losing daughter

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SOUTH MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- With each day that has passed in the last eight years, Vicki Maloney has hung onto the memories of her daughter, Alyssa.

"The phone rang around 10:15 and it wasn't Alyssa calling. It was the call that devastated our lives," Maloney said.

It was July 6th, 2005 when Maloney received that phone call, telling her Alyssa, who was 22 at the time, had been in a terrible car accident.

As Alyssa was on life support in the hospital, officials had to ask Maloney the difficult question about donating her daughter's organs.

"We knew because of the life she led, very caring and giving, that that's what she would've wanted to do," Maloney said.

With April marking National Donate Life Month, Maloney is urging people to follow in her daughter's footsteps and register to be a donor.

"In the United States we have over 117,000 people waiting for organs and just here in Wisconsin we have over 2,000 people waiting for organs," Greg Asmus with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin said.

Two people received Alyssa's kidneys and her pancreas was donated to the Medical College for research.

"There was such comfort in that knowing that she was going to be living on in others," Maloney said.

Maloney is also grateful her granddaughter, Abbey, survived the crash that killed her daughter.

The two share stories and reminisce about Alyssa, to keep her memory alive.

"She was very happy and she loved me to bits and pieces. I remember she would take me to places and do my hair really fancy," Abbey said.

Although Maloney and Abbey have a hole in their heart, they carry a sense of pride that the woman they love saved so many lives.

To register to be a donor, you can log onto http://www.bcw.edu/bcw/Organ-Tissue-Marrow/Join-a-Registry/index.htm