‘My baby saved lives.’ Mother urges folks to consider organ donation, 4 years after daughter dies in crash

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Monday marked four years since a horrific accident on I-12 near the Denham Springs exit killed a 5-month-old baby girl.

But her memory lives on, through the four people she saved through organ donation.

“4 years ago, man. Like that’s a long time, but it feels like it’s like yesterday,” said Gabbie Madere.

October 11, 2017, is a day Gabbie Madere will sadly never forget.

“Last night, I went to my babies grave, and I just cried, and I just talked to her. And that’s a place I can let things out,” said Madere.

She and her 5-month-old daughter, Reese Graham, got into a bad wreck right on I-12.

In hospital after bad wreck in 2017.
In hospital after bad wreck in 2017.(WAFB)

“When they (doctors) relieved the pressure, her brain was just swelling out of the hole so much, that they couldn’t even close it. So, my baby was gone,” said Madere.

Reese died just days later. But right before that happened, her mom was given an opportunity, to bring a little bit of light, to this God-awful situation.

“The one thing that they came to me and said, look four of your baby’s organs are fine, and we can either do organ donation. Or if you don’t want that, you can just pull the plug and that’s it,” said Madere.

Gabbie put herself in the position of other moms.

“So, we donated her heart, liver, intestines and kidneys,” said Madere.

And with the help of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, her baby Reese was able to save four lives.

“My baby saved lives. And that’s not something too many people can say that they actually saved someone else’s lives. Gave up their life for somebody else, basically you know. And it’s nice to know that my baby can live on in somebody else and you know, do something,” said Madere.

She’s hopeful other people consider that simple step, of putting organ donor on your driver’s license in the future.

“Somebody else’s baby is alive because of my decision to save that baby. And without that, without the option of organ donation, that baby wouldn’t be here.

So, absolutely I’m hopeful other people want to do that,” said Madere.

According to LOPA, more than 2000 people are waiting on a life-saving organ transplant in Louisiana. And 1 donor, can potentially save up to 8 lives.

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