A 3-year-old little ‘princess’ who loved dresses and went to gymnastics every Wednesday was tragically, diagnosed with a brain tumor, which claimed her life at an extremely early age.
Her families sad loss saved the lives of a few people in dire need of an organ.
Olivia Swedberg was diagnosed with an unbeatable form of brain tumor, one that could not be treated even with chemotherapy. Since there was no cure available, her parents, Lauressa and Brock Swedberg decided to help Olivia make the most of the short time they knew they had with her.
They decided for her not to undergo agonising chemotherapy and radiation that would only slightly prolong her life and instead, they planned one last vacation.
They made a very difficult choice when they decided to consider donating the little girl’s organs to those unfortunate lives that could be saved by their precious daughter!
They went on a Make-a-Wish Nebraska sponsored Disney cruise and while on the trip, Olivia’s energy levels suddenly depleted. She was rushed to the boat’s ICU when her left lung had collapsed.
While at the hospital, Olivia’s mother received a Facebook message from a complete stranger. The woman wrote that she was following Olivia’s story on Facebook and that she was aware that the girl is a donor.
She was also following another story of another child who needed a liver and she wanted the two families to get in touch. She mentioned that she felt that there was divine intervention, that God was asking her to assist the two families to communicate.
The boy was 2-year-old Lucas Goeller, a terminally ill child who was diagnosed with biliary atresia, which is a life-threatening condition in infants that affects the bile ducts. Lauressa was heartbroken to see Lucas’s sad pictures and felt that Olivia could help Lucas, and the family arranged for a direct donation and Olivia eventually saved his life!
Olivia died two months after her disease was diagnosed and a day after the passing away of her 3-year-old baby, Lauressa received a message saying that Olivia’s liver was transplanted. She, however, did not know who received the liver.
She opened Lucas’s Facebook page—”I woke up, knowing that my daughter had died. But when I saw Lucas’ status, that he had received the liver, I felt such peace and comfort in knowing that he would continue to live. I grieve and weep, but I take courage from knowing that Olivia has saved this little boy,” said Lauressa.
Olivia also donated her intestines and pancreas to another boy by the name of Angelo Giorno. But unfortunately for Angelo, Olivia’s aid came too late.
Angelo was a premature baby with underdeveloped organs but he didn’t survive in spite of Olivia’s contribution.
Olivia’s kidneys, however, saved a 22-year-old man, while her heart saved a 1-year-old baby.
Her eye also brought vision to a blind man.
Olivia’s parents say their grief has been inconsolable with the loss of their daughter, without being able to properly contemplate their decision of donating her organs but they have no regrets.
Despite her own tragedy at such an early age, in giving her own life, she has saved the lives of others who were in dire need.
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