Couple donates organs of infant daughter in hopes to save lives

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A mother and father are grieving but rejoicing at the same time.

After losing their 6-month-old daughter, Ava Polluck, they are still able to hear her heart beat in the body of an 8-month-old boy. On July 13th, Avery Polluck called his wife Krista Waid saying Ava had stopped breathing. He performed CPR on her until the ambulance arrived, but there was nothing they could do.

Waid said doctors believe Ava's death was caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Something the couple never thought would happen to their baby girl.

“You never think that you’re going to lose your child for one,” said Waid. “I still sat there and believed that she's gonna’ blink, she's gonna’ take a breath or something.”

But Polluck and Waid not only faced the worst news of their life that day, the twenty-one and twenty-two-year-old parents were asked if they wanted to donate their daughters organs when she had passed.

“We initially said no,” said Waid.

Their first reaction was an honest no. The couple checked the box accordingly and walked away.

“I honestly didn’t want to donate my daughters organs because I didn’t want somebody cutting into my daughter and doing all that at first,’ said Polluck.

But Waid said something didn't sit right in her heart that night.

“It’s  like four in the morning and I was up just laying just sitting next to her,” she said. “And I was talking to the nurse for a couple of hours and I asked her if I could change my mind—
she was like of course.”

Waid went back to her husband and told him she wanted to change their decision. 

“The more we sat and thought about it the more we thought, you know, if we were in that predicament, I would want somebody else to donate their child's organs for mine,” said Polluck.

And they did. They donated Ava's heart, her liver, and her kidneys. It was within that week they received a box from Life Gift, an organ procurement organization, with news that they said changed their life.  They learned their daughter’s heart was given to a dying 8-month old boy, her kidney’s to a 50-year-old woman, and her liver to an 11-month old boy. The specific names of the people receiving the organs are never released the same year a person donates them, but Waid and pollock got word of the 8-month-old boy, Noel Zuniga.

“He’s a sweet baby and he kind of reminds me of my daughter a little bit,” said Polluck.

We were able to speak with the mother of baby Noel, who had less than a 5% chance of suriving without the new heart, and she says her life will never be the same.

“I don’t even have words to tell her,” said Princess Castro, Noel’s mother. “I can’t even express the way I feel because they lost somebody so my baby's here. I didn’t believe in miracles. I didn’t believe in anything-- but there is miracles.”

Waid and Pollock said they hope their daughter’s story will inspire others to think before checking “no” on the donor papers.

The couple said this experience has changed their life, and they are pregnant with their second child, hoping for a little girl.