The organs of a 10-year-old girl who died in a car crash are expected to help dozens of people. Her loved ones described the donation as Francine Salazar's "final act of kindness."
GettyA stock image of a parent holding their child's hand in hospital. Francine Salazar died after a car crash in early August.
The girl's mother, Hanah Salazar, was picking up her children from their after-school programs on Wednesday, August 7, when a car hit her van in Tulare County, California, the family's GoFundMe page stated. The car was traveling between 60 to 80 miles per hour, according to ABC 7.
Hanah Salazar had taken a different route that day, she told ABC 7, as she wanted to surprise the children with ice cream on a hot day.
Days after the accident, doctors at Valley Children's Hospital in Maderatold the girl's family she was brain-dead. Hanah Salazar passed away on August 10.
The child's family decided to donate her organs, in a gesture the Donor Network West told ABC7 would save six lives and aid a further 75 people. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, some 113,000 adults and children are on the national transplant waiting list in the U.S., and 20 people will die each day waiting for a donation.
"Francine's final act of kindness is donating her organs to those in need," the GoFundMepage stated of the girl who was due to start fifth grade at Cottonwood Creek Elementary School.
"My daughter is a caring, loving, selfless person, and she would help everybody before herself," HanahSalazar told ABC 7.
Staff at Valley Children's Hospital held their first ever honor walk for the schoolgirl. Before Francine Salazar's body was taken to the operating theater, her mother braided her hair one final time. In an act of remembrance, staff lined the corridor near the operating room as she went in, ABC 7 reported.
John Blakely, the child's stepfather, thanked the hospital staff. "We know that Francine was given the best care here you could ever imagine," he said.
In the days since her death, over $17,000 has been donated to her family to pay for medical and funeral expenses.
The 10-year-old who loved to dance, sing, draw, run, and travel was "full of life, with dreams and aspirations," her GoFundMe page read.
The message continued: "Our hearts are broken into a billion little pieces. Francine was and will be continued to be loved by her family and friends. Remembering her spunky little self just makes our heart ache. There are no words to describe our sadness for losing Francine at such a young age."
Two children died on the same day in two different states after being left in hot cars.