*Domonique “Nikki” Smith was only 18 when she died unexpectedly in June 2015. And Tanisha Bahsam had been on a waiting list for a new heart, because she had congestive heart failure, for 18 months. So the only thing grieving mother, Vicki Olds, thought to do, was donate her daughter’s heart to Bahsam.
Smith says she actually had to convince her friend to take the gift.
“I was overwhelmed,” Basham, 41, said in a press release. And that is why she didn’t want to accept the generous donation at first.
But Olds insisted and said to her, ‘Tanisha, you’re like my sister. You’ll always have my baby with you.'”
I have a feeling it was that ‘last part’ that really did it.
Olds wanted to do something beautiful for Bahsam, and Bahsam wanted to ultimately do something beautiful for her. And what better way to accomplish this than accepting Nikki’s organ?
With that, Bahsam went straight into transplant surgery under the knife of Drs. Antone Tatooles and Patroklos “Pat” Pappas, according to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
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 through organ donation is incredibly generous,” he said.
“There is no better gift than giving someone the gift of life,” the doctor added.
The heart saved Basham’s life.
And the deceased teen’s mom even accompanies Bahsam to her doctor appointments so she can “see her daughter’s heart beating in the body of her friend,” according to a statement from the hospital.
“I carried Nikki for nine months, and Tanisha’s going to carry her for the rest of her life,” Olds said in the release.
“When I was living through my worst nightmare on the worst day of my life, I chose to preserve the lives of others.”
And another thing equally beautiful is the screensaver shot of “Nikki” that Bahsam keeps with her as a reminder of who gave her a second chance at life.