On Monday, November 27, the Korean Organ Donation Agency (KODA), a government-run organization for organ donation, shared the story of a 15-year-old middle school student who saved five lives with a post-mortem donation of her vital organs.
The hero of the story is Lee Ye Won, the 15-year-old who passed away last year on May 11, after sustaining extensive damage to her brain from a cerebral hemorrhage. She had collapsed on April 25 of the same year, after suddenly complaining of a headache before dinner at home. She underwent an emergency surgery but failed to regain consciousness. The doctors announced her brain dead.
According to reports, a week after she received the surgery, the medical staff had informed her parents that several parts of her body were deteriorating, and her heart could stop soon. Lee’s parents then took the decision to donate her organs, saying that their daughter had always been a kind and helpful person, and would have wanted to contribute to something meaningful in this world.
Consequently, Lee’s heart, lungs, liver, and both kidneys were donated, bringing new lease of life to five different individuals.
I hope the people who got a new life from Ye-won will live their lives to the fullest.
— Lee Jung Jae, Lee Ye Won’s father
Born in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do, Lee Ye Won was the eldest of two daughters. Her loved ones remember her as a polite, cheerful, and bright child. She was also a meticulous student, and became the vice president of her class in the third year of middle school. Apart from being a class topper, she was also good at sports.
Lee Ye Won’s dream was to study astronomy and then become a professor. After her passing, her school gave her an honorary diploma and an honor prize.
Along with sharing Lee’s story, the KODA also revealed a cartoon drawn by her little sister, where she expressed her hope to reunite with Lee one day in heaven.
Moon In Seon, the director of the KODA, thanked Lee’s family for braving through the devastation of losing their child and saving so many other lives. He also honored Lee Ye Won in his statement, saying that her story relays the warmth of her heart to the world.