Luis Tijerina
Organ Donor
Age 21 - Odessa, TX
Date of Donation: 08/25/2009
Medical Center; Odessa, TX

August 25, 2009,  Luis "Louie" Tijerina, a 21 year old Odessa man, was lost in an accident in Odessa.  His ten day ordeal in ICU at the Medical Center Hospital began on August 16, 2009.  Louie was admitted into the hospital as a John Doe as his clothes and wallet had been ripped away after being ejected from the vehicle in which he rode, making it hard to ID him at the time of admittance.  During the ten day ordeal, the Tijerina family prayed for a miracle and then on the tenth day with no improvement, decided to extubate him and remove him from the ventilator.  His family agreed to donate his organs and tissues after much prayerful and thoughtful discussion.  Despite the fact that opening his body to recover his organs went against some of the teachings of their heritage and culture they went ahead with the donations.  The Tijerina family leads a local Native American tribe and have some very interesting comments to share on life and death in general, and how to cope with the loss of a loved one.  One such comment about this is, ...."we are all sent here with a said amount of time and do not know how long that will be and no matter where we are at the time it is due somehow, someway we will be called back from where we came."

Louie was a kind, considerate compassionate and generous young man that loved life and lived it day-by-day. The Tijerinas prayed for a miracle for the recovery of their loved one and much to their surprise they were able to be a part of several miracles at his passing by donating organs, eyes and tissues to recipients in need, to give them a new lease on sight and life. Another such saying that the Tijerinas live by is, "Be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it but not in the way that you want, but the way that God knows you need to have it."

The Tijerinas now have a new Son, Brother, and Uncle in the recipient of Louie's kidney.  When they first met James they got together to break bread as families often do.  James related a story to them about his ordeal that he hadn't stood at a urinal for seven years.  Now with the transplant after twenty four hours he felt the urge to go and did so.  He said,  "It was the best feeling I have had in a long, long time."  He thanked the Tiejrina family for their sacrifice and gave them his condolences and said he was proud to call them family, as now they are related.  The Tijerina's and James' still write and talk on the phone, have laughed and shed tears, but that's the way life and family is, isn't it?

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