For parents Mary Kay and Ronnie Thomas, National Donate Life Month means honoring the legacy of their daughter Melissa.
They remember Melissa, who passed away in 2019, as always having a giving heart. When she couldn’t work as a medical assistant because of multiple health issues, she instead volunteered at her local library.
“She could no longer work, but she still had a great desire to live,” said Mary Kay. “She knew she had a lot she could do for people.”
Being an organ and tissue donor was important to Melissa, who had several health issues throughout her life.
“She was always wanting to help people,” Mary Kay said. “To fix the situation, to find the answer to the problem.”
She was so committed to donating that she signed up for a system through Superior HealthPlan that alerted emergency responders when she suffered a stroke.
“She was able to hang on because she wanted to become an organ and tissue donor,” Mary Kay said. “And she did.”
Melissa donated her liver and helped an additional 65 people through her tissue donation. The Thomas family hopes Melissa’s story will inspire others to sign up and save lives on the Donate Life Texas registry.
“When I think of my sweet Melissa, I immediately think of her gift to mankind,” Mary Kay said. “It gave her life such purpose.”
To join the Donate Life Registry, visit DonateLifeTexas.org/SouthTexasBlood.