Teen's gift of organ donation after train collision 'will heal our hearts and help others,' says family
Humboldt Broncos' bus crash prompted her desire to be an organ donor
Despite her death, the family of Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk is expressing their pride that the 17-year-old's final wish will save other people's lives.
"She was an amazing girl and she is going to be missed so much," said her aunt, Sonja Bursic Goff, in a message to CBC Saskatchewan, following her niece's death from injuries sustained in a collision with a train.
"But knowing she has been able to donate her organs as her final wish will heal our hearts and help others."
After the Humboldt Broncos' bus crash, Bursic-Panchuk had talked with her mother and father about her wish to be an organ donor, and, after she turned 17, to be an ongoing blood donor.
"She is a kid that would bend over backwards for anyone and it didn't matter if she knew them or not," said Bursic Goff, explaining what prompted her niece to express the intent to donate.
Last week, Bursic-Panchuk was in a vehicle-train collision near the railyard southeast of Weyburn, and had to be airlifted to Regina to undergo surgery to reduce pressure on her brain. She was left in critical condition, and required medical assistance to breathe.
On Tuesday, the 16-year-old turned 17, and one of her two wishes was fulfilled.
Bursic-Panchuk would not survive her injuries, but she was able to donate her liver and kidney to organ recipients.
Her mother, Sandra LaRose noted that the chances of finding a kidney match were one in a million, odds that her daughter proved she was ready to meet.
"So although I've already known this, now everyone will know she is 1:1,000,000," she wrote in a Facebook post, describing her daughter as selfless and wise beyond years, and herself as "the proudest mommy ever."
"We hope that Kailynn's story and selflessness will reach others and they too will decide, if put in the situation, to give this amazing gift of life," said Bursic Goff.