MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two families brought together by tragedy are now celebrating life.
This after a young Long Island woman perished in a sky diving accident last summer. Her mother donated her organs, finding the recipient on social media.
On Tuesday, they finally met, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
It was a first-time meeting for two moms joined forever by tragedy and generosity.
Last spring, Ava Jacobs of East Meadow lost her 27-year-old daughter, Alexis, in a sky diving accident.
“I found out that she crashed into the side of a barn,” Jacobs said. “By the time I got to the trauma center I was told that there was no hope for her.”
Alexis had registered as an organ donor and her mother took to social media to find a recipient.
“If anyone knew somebody who was awaiting an organ,” Jacobs said.
Linda Dolinger, in nearby Bellmore, was in desperate need of a kidney. The waiting list is five to seven years. Her husband looked high and low for a donor.
“I had about 23,000 posts in about four months on Facebook,” Mark Dolinger said.
Through social medial connections, the women found one another.
“I was directed to be the donor, for which I am forever grateful for,” Linda Dolinger said.
Incredibly, it was a match.
“If there was no direct donor this would never have happened,” Linda Dolinger said. “Without Alexis, I would not be here.”
After surgery at North Shore University Hospital, Linda is now looking forward to becoming a grandmother, and has a forever friend.
“There is no meaning to losing your child in the world, but there is … it’s just at least something wonderful came out of it,” Jacobs said through tears.
“Yes, I feel like Alexis is with me every single day,” Linda Dolinger said.
In New York, with one of the lowest organ donation rates in the nation, donor families are permitted to designate the recipient.
“If people knew that they had a chance of saving a loved one, maybe they would be more likely to sign. You can just go online. That would just honor my daughter,” Jacobs said.
Five people are alive today because of Alexis’ organs — her heart, liver, kidneys and lungs. Her mother said there is no better way to honor her memory than to spread the importance of her gift of life.
Directed organ donation is not prohibited in any state. There are states that have no laws on the practice.