Jefferson City teen unknowingly saves 50 lives with one check mark

A Jefferson City teen is making an impact by helping dozens of people find new hope after her death.
Teen's tragic death gives new hope
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:23 PM EDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Jefferson City teen was making an impact after her death by helping dozens of people find new hope.

Last week Laurabeth Childress, 15, and her uncle were on an ATV when her grandmother, Sharon, got the news that Laurabeth was thrown off the four wheeler.

Laurabeth was taken to the hospital and died from her injuries a couple of days later.

“When they told me there was absolutely no hope, it just crushed me,” Sharon Childress, said.

But a few weeks before the accident, Laurabeth filled out the paperwork to get a state issued ID.

Sharon said, “We got to the part of the organ donor. And she says ‘mom, what’s an organ donor?’”

She explained it and told Laurabeth she had plenty of time to decide if she wanted to do that later in life.

“Personality she has, she just turns around and looks at me and says, ‘Well if I’m gone, I don’t need them parts anyway.’”

The night Laurabeth passed, Sharon was told Laurabeth’s organs and tissue would be saving up to 50 people.

“I was just totally shocked because I didn’t know if she actually marked that little box,” Childress explained, “I’m really proud of her. But I was really kind of devastated at the same time.”

There’s no bringing her back, but knowing dozens have new hope gives Childress peace.

“She will live on,” Childress said, “I know she’s out there somewhere. Eventually I’ll find her again.”

Sharon will receive letters after 30 days to see what organ or tissue went where. After a year, the people who have received her organs will be given Childress’s contact information if they would like to get in touch with her. She hoped they do.

If you’re interested in becoming an organ donor click here.

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