In the fall of 2017, 14-year-old Brandon Valley High School freshman Hannah Havermann died unexpectedly. Her organs were donated to a handful of people including 17-year-old Hollie Burford of Fort Madison, Iowa. On Friday, she and Hannah’s parents celebrated organ donation at Brandon Valley High School.
Hannah Havermann’s heart beats today in Hollie Burford.
“It’s definitely a privilege, of course, to have it,” Burford said. “It’s saved my life.”
Hannah’s organs went to eight different people. In addition to her heart, her liver, each kidney, lungs, and pancreas all helped save lives.
“We have a name for that; that’s called ‘hero,'” Hannah’s father Joseph Havermann said.
“Superhero, Hannah’s our superhero,” Hannah’s mother Trudie Havermann said. “And our angel.”
“We wanted to celebrate Hannah and the gift she gave through organ donation,” Brandon Valley High School assistant principal Mark Schlekeway said.
Hollie’s mom Pam says she’s so thankful to Hannah and her family.
“Someone who did not deserve to pass away has given my daughter the opportunity to live, and Hannah will always be with her in that journey,” Pam Burford said. “So Hannah has, is not gone; she is still there.”
If you’re on the fence about organ donation, Hollie has a message.
“That’s how you prevent other people from feeling the same pain that you would be going through or your family would be going through, and that’s really the only way to do that,” she said.
If you’d like to become an organ donor, visit organdonor.gov.