SAN ANTONIO - In all, 11,000 Texans are waiting for lifesaving organ donations and a new name is added to that list every 10 minutes. On Tuesday, an emotional meeting took place between an organ recipient and the family that gave her a second chance at life.
Casey Ross was a mother, a wife, and a physician whose mission was to put others before herself, but unexpectedly, in April 2016, her life was taken at the hands of her husband. He shot her and then turned the gun on himself.
It was a tragedy, but not in vain, her family said.
"Somebody out there's walking around with her heart, someone with her liver," said Donna Austin, Casey's mother.
Three of Casey's organs were donated to complete strangers. Norma Espinoza is the recipient of Casey's lungs. Espinoza had been living with Cystic Fibrosis all of her life.
"I was on oxygen," she said. "Couldn't take a few steps without getting tired. Now I'm just on the go. Nothing stops me now."
She's a living testament to the way Ross lived her own life and, for the first time ever, Norma was finally able to meet the family who gave her this second wind of life.
"I've wanted to thank them since the time they took that tube out and I took my first breath," Espinoza said.
What began as a tragedy has now turned into triumph.
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