Mother Donates Late Teen Daughter’s Heart to Save Friend’s Life


When 49-year-old Vicki Olds’ daughter, Domonique “Nikki” Smith, unexpectedly died at age 18 in June 2015, the grieving mother immediately offered to donate Nikki’s heart to her friend, Tanisha Basham. 

Basham, who was suffering from congestive heart failure, had been on a waiting list for a new heart for 18 months, according to the Advocate Heart Institute at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

“I was overwhelmed,” Basham, 41, said in a press release. Though she didn’t want to accept the generous donation at first, Olds insisted and told her, ‘Tanisha, you’re like my sister. You’ll always have my baby with you.'”

Basham was then immediately admitted for a direct transplantation surgery performed by Dr. Antone Tatooles and Dr. Patroklos “Pat” Pappas, according to the medical center.

“Before this, I had never heard of anyone receiving a directed heart organ donation,” Tatooles said in the release. “To lose your daughter and yet use that tragic event to save lives though organ donation is incredibly generous. There is no better gift than giving someone the gift of life.”

The heart saved Basham’s life.

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Source: Good Morning America | AVIANNE TAN