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A 64-Year-Old Woman Vows To Finish The Bucket List Of The Young Organ Donor Whose Death Saved Her
Susan Vieira vows not to waste the second chance on life a 21-year-old nursing student's tragic death was able to give her.
Kristina Chesterman was a 21-year-old nursing student attending California State University. She was hit by a drunk driver a block from her home in Chico, Calif., on September and pronounced brain dead. Kristina was an organ donor.
And that allowed Kristina to give five people a second chance. Two babies received parts of her liver, a family friend got a kidney, and 64-year-old Susan Vieira received her heart.
The same September when Kristina lost her life, Bay Area resident Susan Vieira got a call. She was in congestive heart failure and had been on the transplant list since July. She never thought they'd find a donor.
After she was released from the hospital, Susan began searching for the Chestermans. She found them on Facebook, and last week met with Kristina's mother, Sandra, for the first time.
Sandra told reporters there was an instant connection. And that's when Susan made a promise to the Chesterman family.
Susan vowed to do all the rings that were on Kristina's bucket list, including learning how to pilot a plane, traveling around the world, and flying in a hot-air balloon. She said as long as she was able, she would do her best.
According to her family, Kristina was always passionate about helping others, often donating blood, and registering as an organ donor at 18 because she thought it was the right thing to do.
Kristina's friends and family are keeping her memory alive and are currently working on building a clinic in Nigeria named after the young woman.
As for Kristina's mother, she says she knows Kristina would have been happy about everyone she was able to help.