Teen unexpectedly dies one day after becoming organ donor
UTAH -- A Utah couple lost their teenage daughter unexpectedly, and now they are speaking out about their loss, their love for their daughter and the ways organ donation is helping them and her friends on the path to healing.
London Layton was a passionate dancer, a cheerleader, and a wonderful friend.
Torrie Layton, London's mother, said on December 11 of 2015 her daughter went to bed, and the next morning they made a tragic discovery.
"I said to Casey, 'You need to get the girls up and going,'" Torrie Layton said. "He went upstairs and went into her room, and we found her passed away, in her sleep."
In a twist of fate, the day before she died, London and her mom were at DMV.
"You know, first question on there was: Do you want to be a donor?," Torrie Layton said. "And she turned to me and said, 'Well, what does that mean?' and so I explained to her, and she says to me, 'Well, yeah, why wouldn't I?'"
London left an older sister, Ellee, and a tight-knit group of friends behind. Jaicee, Hunter, Branson and Gabe grew up together, even calling each other cousins.
The loss of London is staggering, but she made a big impact when it comes to organ donation.
"And then after she passed I was able to see how many people she helped and were able to better their lives, so I want to pass that along and do what she was able to do," Gabe Johnson said.
Torrie said her daughter's heart valve, her corneas and her leg bones saved other lives, and they also donated her hair to Locks of Love.
The couple said they look forward to a time when they can meet those who received London's gifts.
"And then when you learn of how it changes so many other people's lives, or possibly could, that's in and of itself what this is all about, and is what is so healing about it, and it's why we want to be involved in this," Casey Layton said. "And why we hope, if we share our story, that people can make that same decision that our London did, to say yes."
To become and organ donor, just mark yes on your driver's license or state ID card. You can also donate to the Kurt Oscarson fund on your state income tax form to help those who need assistance with medical bills from a transplant.
Visit yesutah.org for more information about becoming an organ donor or contributing in other ways.
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