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Critically injured, she made a selfless decision to donate her organs — immediately

Bill Hanna, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in News & Features

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Critically injured in a motorcycle crash, Kammey Bagwell didn't hesitate with her decision.

When told by doctors that she would spend the rest of her life -- perhaps four of five years -- as a quadriplegic and would need a ventilator to breathe, Bagwell indicated she wanted to donate her organs.

Bagwell, 40 years old and a deeply religious woman, was ready.

"She wanted it done instantly," said her mother, Neta Acuna. "She wanted to go home."

A year later, Bagwell's selfless resolve is not forgotten.

"She was the bravest patient I had ever seen," said Tasha Horton, manager of hospital donation services at LifeGift, the designated organ procurement organization for the area. "She had no fear in her eye. I will always remember her."

The crash happened on April 30 and Bagwell soon learned of her prognosis as a quadriplegic. Her mother said Bagwell was told about the ventilator and that her organs would eventually fail. A doctor asked her if she wanted to live that way.

"She was lucid and he says, 'Do you want to stay or do your want to go home?'" Acuna recalled. "And she indicated she wanted to go home.

"She told doctors to take her off the ventilator," Acuna said.

Because Bagwell was an organ donor -- she signed up in 2010 -- Horton was called in to talk to her on May 2. Bagwell was adamant about going forward with the donation.

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