Voices of Donation

Donated tissue can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients and even save lives. This is thanks to the generous gift of life given by thousands of donors each year. We hope that these stories of how tissue donation and transplantation have touched the lives of others will inspire you.

Jessica Mathews

Jessica Mathews

Julie Mathews Adams lost her oldest daughter, Jessica, at the age of 21. “She came home from college to watch her younger sister march in the band, and the next morning she did not wake up,” Julie said. Jessica’s mom and sister performed CPR on her, but she unfortunately did not recover. Jessica was a senior at Baylor University in Waco, Tex. studying speech pathology.

“She was a very giving young lady,” Julie said. “She loved life.”

Jessica especially loved the children she had the opportunity to work with while on mission trips in Ethiopia, Belize and Oklahoma, as well as the children at her church, First Baptist Church Waco. She also participated in several trips with World Changers. One trip was to New Orleans where she helped roof houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Jessica also was a children’s intern for three years at her home church, FBC Longview. She worked with infants through younger youth. She was on the leadership team at FBC Waco where she was co-teacher for a Sunday school class as well as teaching children on Wednesday night. She loved, and was loved by, all ages.

Jessica was an enthusiastic fan of Baylor women’s basketball, as well as the Baylor Bears football team. She changed her major from accounting to speech pathology so that she would spend her days working with children. Jessica was scheduled to graduate from Baylor in May.

“Jessica was a joyful, contented young lady. Diabetes for 19 years did not prevent her from living a life of service to others. She loved Jesus and she served Him. Everything else just fell into place.”

Jessica’s father was on the transplant waiting list but passed away while awaiting a kidney and pancreas. This helped drive Jessica’s decision to be a donor. “Jessica’s life was focused on giving to others. It only makes sense that she continued to give even as she was escorted to the throne of Heaven” as Jessica’s grandfather summed it up. “We are doing what we know Jessica would have done. We have comfort knowing that she lives on in the lives of the many who were helped by her donation.”