More than 20 Beaumont area organ donors were honored by their surviving family and friends at a special event hosted by the staffs of Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth and Donate Life Texas.
Among those honored was the family of 16-year-old Alexandria "Lexy" Bertrand, the Vidor teen who died in a February car crash that police say was intentionally caused by a man who crashed into her family's minivan.
Lexy's mom April Bertrand said she's not quite ready to meet the people whose lives have been saved by the death of her daughter.
"I would love to hear my daughter's heart beat again," Bertrand said. "I think it would be a beautiful thing."
Photos of Lexy, along with the other organ donors, were added to a "Wall of Heroes" that will be on display in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Elizabeth to provide inspiration and hope for families dealing with similar tragedies.
"I love the thought of my daughter living on and that's what it's about helping others," Bertrand said.
Bertrand said before Lexy died she was working on getting her driver's license and that she was adamant about making sure she'd have that little red donor sticker on her license.
"I wanted to honor her choice and continue on with the gift of life she chose," she said.
A gift that provides the only shred of hope for those on the long list waiting for transplants. Suzy Miller with Donate Life Texas and Southwest Transplant Alliance said there are 121,000 Americans on the transplant list.
"Sadly by the end of today, 18 people will have died waiting on the organ they need to live," Miller said.
The more people who sign up to be donors, the more celebrating life after loss, for loved ones who made it possible to give hope to another family through organ donation. The organ donors honored at the ceremony were able to save a total of 59 lives of those who received transplanted organs.
To become an organ donor, sign up at www.DonateLifeTexas.org