Tucson teen part of Arizona's record number of organ donations
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - More people donated organs last year than ever before in Arizona. All across the state, 267 life saving decisions were made.
Within that statistic is Tucson teen, 18-year-old Victoria Arias. Her parents were left empty by her passing, but are now full of pride.
Victoria Arias was known among her community as a beloved family member, Mariachi lover, and a great student. She had hopes of becoming a trauma surgeon to help others. Shortly after her death, she was still able to add 'lifesaver' to her list of titles.
Victoria's father, Michael Arias, told Tucson News Now, "We said Victoria give us a sign. Give us a sign of what you want and in walked Patrick."
Patrick was with Donate Life Arizona, a non-profit advocating for the importance of organ donation. His appearance marked a powerful moment for Michael and his wife, Lorena.
"It was the answer to our prayers. It was going to be hard to say to the doctors to shut everything down. We didn't have to because of Donate Life," Lorena Arias said.
Her life shared by many from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Her heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys and lungs used by four different recipients.
Proud of their daughter, Lorena and Michael now sport a Donate Life license plate with Victoria's initials. They have found comfort in knowing their daughter lives on through others.
Victoria's father explained, "Through her organ donations, she was able to do what she wanted to do."
The Arias' hope to meet the recipients of their daughter's organs one day and said they are happy to be apart of a new community.
"Our family is a part of that network, family, and community now, it's amazing," said Michael Arias.
Victoria's gifts to the world have inspired her parents to keep giving themselves.
Her legacy will live on through the Victoria Teresa Arias Memorial Foundation, handing out scholarships to students in the area.
A fundraiser for the foundation will be held Saturday, April 21st at Casino del Sol.
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