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Organ Transplant Donor Family And Recipient Meet In North Idaho

Doug Nadvornick

In north Idaho this week, two women with one thing in common met for the first time. Their link is a close one: a donation made by the daughter of one woman to the other.


In 2003, Cheryl Burroughs–Horne's daughter Alicia died of a stroke. She was just 17. Burroughs–Horne agreed to allow Alicia's organs to be transplanted into eight people.

Cheryl Burroughs–Horne: "To me, it wasn't hard. I mean it was hard. But there wasn't any hesitation, at all."

Alicia's lungs went to Denise Kitchen, a woman then in her fifties from South Dakota. She's 64 now and doing fine.

Afterward, Kitchen wrote to Alicia's mother to introduce herself and say thank you. Burroughs–Horne waited a couple of years to respond.

Cheryl Burroughs–Horne: "It just took me a while, just for the fact that losing a child is the worst thing."

They exchanged letters and, now they've met. They've shared pictures. Burroughs–Horne shared stories about Alicia. She hopes eventually to meet the other seven organ recipients.

Cheryl Burroughs–Horne: "If we get more people to be aware that it's not a freaky thing to donate[...]"

Then, she says, there may be more meetings like this one all over the country.

I'm Doug Nadvornick in Coeur d'Alene.

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