Girl who died on Christmas Eve becomes organ donor

Jahi McMath, 13, had a tonsillectomy to correct a form of sleep apnea. After complications, "she is 100% brain damaged. Medically dead," her uncle says. (Omari Sealey)
Jahi McMath (Omari Sealey)
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Updated: 12/28/2013 2:42 am

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) — Amid the unspeakable grief of losing a child on Christmas Eve, a Central California couple has made the decision to donate their daughter's organs so other parents can avoid the kind of pain they are experiencing.

Manteca resident Tony Izzo tells The Modesto Bee that doctors at UC Davis Medical Center on Thursday were harvesting the heart and other organs from the body of his 9-year-old daughter, Mariah.

The girl suffered catastrophic brain injuries on Monday while riding in a small SUV being driven by her aunt. A larger SUV slammed into the vehicle while it was stopped at a red light.

Mariah was pronounced dead at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Her father says her organs will go to at least five other people. He says Mariah is his little hero.


©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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