Lightning Strike Victim Hoped to be Organ Donor

Funeral arrangements for Lawson are not yet public

By Frank Heinz
|  Monday, Aug 31, 2009  |  Updated 1:15 PM CDT
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Lightning Strike Victim Hoped to be Organ Donor

Taylor Lawson

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After being struck by lightning last Thursday and losing her unborn baby, 19-year-old Taylor Lawson was pronounced brain dead on Sunday.

On Monday, Lawson remained on life-support at Parkland Hospital so that her organs can be donated, a decision she made for her family after they dealt with the loss of a child several years ago. Sadly, Lawson's internal organs were so badly damaged by the lightning strike that her organs were not viable for harvest.

Lawson's family wants people to know that though their daughter's organs were not able to be used, they were very proud of her for making the decision on her own to be an organ donor and that they hope others follow in her footsteps.

"She made the decision and registered in order that her family would not have to have the burden of making that decision on her behalf in an already difficult situation," said Pam Silvestri, Southwest Transplant Alliance. "Taylor ... took it upon herself to register when she got her drivers license, in order that the burden of the organ donation decision not be placed upon her family.  They were so very proud of her and grateful for her having taken this step."

Lawson was visiting friends when a severe summer storm rolled through North Texas Aug. 27. She was hit by lightning at about 7:30 p.m. as she stood outside the home in the 1000 block of Stableway in Bedford.

"She took a pretty direct hit. It went right through her," said Dwayne Lawson, her uncle. "She's just a wonderful kid. She's always been a very outgoing, outspoken, beautiful, very intelligent little girl."

Funeral arrangements for Lawson have not yet been made public. Taylor's family has set up a fund to help with her medical costs. Donations to the Taylor A. Lawson Medical Fund are accepted at any Bank of America location.

Those wishing to follow in Lawson's footsteps can register to become an organ donor at DonateLifeTexas.org.
 

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