Brooke Ashleigh Coates, Donor
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She always had a kind word for anyone in need...
The news came on a beautiful morning. The air was still and hope was in the air. It was my daughter’s eighteenth birthday and our lives were about to be shattered by the words from the neurologist. “Your daughter is brain dead.”
Brooke grew up in Southern Arizona and grew into a strong young woman who advocated for many social causes and she consistently demonstrated leadership, compassion and concern for others through her active participation in her community. She was active in her church, Girl Scouts and other community activities. Brooke was a member of the Junior Varsity Cheerleading Squad during her 9th and 10th grade years. She was a born leader and always strived to use her gifts for good.
Brooke always had a kind word for anyone in need, a show-stopping smile and a heart of gold. Everyone who knew her will always remember her laughter, her compassion and her love of life.
Her final act of generosity was to donate her organs. Organ donation was a frequent conversation in her home since her Grandfather has been on a heart transplant list for five years. Finally, in 2008, he received his long awaited heart. The donor of his heart was an 18 years old accident victim. This had a profound effect on Brooke and she was determined to donate her organs when she died. When the topic would come up at home, she would share that she would be happy knowing someone got a second chance at life because of her. She used to say, “I could even save a tiny baby or her mother.”
As fate would have it, she would repay the gift our family received four years before and Brooke would get her wish to give the ultimate gift to a number of people. She now had ensured that even a mother and a baby could carry on the good deeds that she will never be able to do.
Our family feels the loss of our beautiful angel every day, but finds peace in the thought that someone out there also carries the special gifts and spirit of our daughter through her donation.