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Strangers become family after organ donation

Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 11:24:27-04

BALTIMORE, Md. — "This is my extended family," said Adrienne Jordan, as she pointed to Stan and Emily Kotler.

These three people were brought together through organ donation. Adrienne's son, Tyre Williams, was brain dead and she had to make a very difficult decision.

"You don’t ever as a mother want to hear that your child is not going to live," said Jordan. She added, "what could I do for him and there was nothing I could do."

But there was something she could do. Adrienne decided to donate her son's major organs to save others.

She said, "I love my son and miss him. I wish he was right here, but at least I can know that there are parts of him that still live."

Tyre's heart went to Stan Kotler, who was suffering from severe heart failure.

Adrienne said, "He holds a part of my son. I could not have asked for them to give my year to a better person."

Stan grateful Adrienne decided to donate her son's organs, or else he wouldn't be alive today. Now, he travels all over with his wife, Emily.

The Kotler's and Adrienne didn't meet until about two years after the surgery.

They spoke on the phone where they talked for hours and cried. When they met, the first thing Adrienne did was listen to her son's heartbeat in Stan's chest. Now, they talk and see each other all the time! Adrienne like to call and check up on the Kotler's. They truly have become a family.

Stan said, "Do you remember the time I had to get out of the car?" Adrienne laughed and said, "I got out of the car!" Stan finished the thought and said, "she got out to protect me."
They understand the importance of organ donation and hope others do too.

Tuesday morning, the University of Maryland Medical Center hosted their fourth annual flag raising ceremony, where they raised the donate life flag. The flag is at half staff, along with the Maryland state flag, to honor House Speaker Michael Busch who died on Sunday. He had a liver transplant in 2017 and helped pass legislation to cut costs for people who donate organs to save lives.

During the ceremony, a handful of people spoke. Adrienne, Emily and Stan all spoke about their experiences. A couple doctor's spoke about how there are more than 100,000 people waiting on a list for organ donation, a few thousand from right here in Maryland.

Another organ recipient spoke as well. Lia Young was given 14 days to live and a 1 percent chance of finding a match for her double lung transplant. She was able to get that transplant days later in 2017. She said, "Because of their decision, my five children have a mother, and I'm able to live my best life." She continued by thanking all the donor's families who made this hard decision.

For more information on organ donation, click here.