The legacy of Heather Miller lives on, encouraging organ donors

Local News

OHIO COUNTY, W.VA. (WTRF) — What was once a tragedy for the Miller family has taken a different turn.

“She was my oldest, my baby, and somebody ripped that part of me away from me. My heart will always be broke. You never fix it.”

Jody Miller, mother of Heather Miller

Jody Miller is remembering the March night that took her daughters life away so suddenly… 12 years ago. That fatal accident changed their lives.

Just weeks later… Heather Miller would have graduated from West Virginia University in the field of nursing.

“She was gonna graduate. She wanted to save lives. that was her aspiration. Her being a donor, you know, today she’s still saving lives.”

Jody Miller, mother of Heather Miller

Heather is an organ donor.

Since that night, she’s saved 50 lives just through tissue donation. Even her heart, both kidneys and her liver were given away.

“That’s a pretty amazing gift that she gave to complete strangers, and so today she still lives on.”

Jody Miller, mother of Heather Miller

The Miller family has also given away scholarships to 166 nursing students since the accident.

Families like the Millers have inspired Robert Horsey.

Horsey is an organ recovery coordinator, and he’s written the fictional novel Gifted… all to tell what the families of an organ donor faces.

“Ultimately, my goal would be to inspire people to join the registry.”

Robert Horsey, author of Gifted

Horsey says there are 120,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant on the list at any given time. He says there’s not enough donors for all of them, and 22 of those people will die a day while waiting.

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