A Small Town Nobody, Becomes a Hometown Hero

A small town nobody, becomes a hometown hero written by kelly

                                                    Posted on January 17, 2013                          

This picture above shows the face of a hero. She's the beautiful lil shorty beside me on our last Thanksgiving.

On September 22, 1958 this beautiful soul came into this world. She was the daughter of a very poor hard working Man, WV coal miner. She was the sibling to 9 brothers and sisters. Her struggles throughout life were never easy and often lead to closed doors.

In 1982 this beautiful woman had the strength to give me life on Sept 13, 1982. My mom single handedly raised me alone. She decided when I was in the third grade to go to college and it was her dedication and hard work to get us off welfare.   My mom did just that in 1995 she graduated with honors in Accounting.   In 2000 I graduated high school and by her hard work it enabled me to further my education.   On 3-25-02 her first grand child came into this world due to an emergency.

You see i have a history of seizures and somehow this angel was always there to save me. She saved two that day because if she had not been in my room never leaving my side I would have seized and nobody would have known. I lived my life thinking my mother would be here forever, after all every child believes their parents are superheros.  

In 1996 with my mothers help I obtained my drivers license. On that day I was asked if I wanted to be a donor and of course I said "yes!"  My mother shocked by my answer proceeded to tell me every myth known to man as to WHY I shouldn't, some how on that day my debate skills were on par because I convinced her to become a donor.   In September 1996 my mother and I both became registered donors.

On March 25,2011 while throwing my daughter her 9th birthday party my guests started to leave the the phone began to ring. Soon my biological dad, her high school sweetheart, would show up at my door step and started to tell me what I thought was the ending of my life. I sat shocked and in dismay that this woman who exercised frequently and took such great care of herself had died at 4:54pm that day.

She had developed a clot that had moved into her lungs and then it passed into her heart causing it to stop beating. After 55 minutes of resuscitative measures the Dr finally called it. Soon after her death she began the journey of her lifetime. 

 She was whisked away to an awaiting Operating Room where a team of high specialized Dr's started the work of retrieving her organs. Since she passed off life support they was not able to obtain any vita organs, but they did get corneas and bone/tissue to be donated.

On March 28, 2011 my mother gave her sight to two people in Kentucky. However, due to communication mix ups I was never contacted with this vital information.  Soon after her death I started the process of locating her recipients, due to law you have to wait a year.  So I waited and during the mean time called and wrote letters to all over, including London and various journalists.   On January 8, 2013 I finally got to speak to the people my mother gave their sight too.   I wanted to know this information more than anything else because you see my mother loved to read.  She valued and cherished her sight and to know she gave something she treasured so much away, was simply amazing.   When I heard their voices on the phone I couldn't breathe because the tears just wouldn't stop.   All of those questions I had wondered suddenly left my mind and I was at a blank.

Finally, after all of my hard work it had finally paid off and I would get to look my recipients in the eyes and see just how precious of a gift my mother gave. Within the next few days my mothers story took off.

Since then I have been working closely with a journalist and the centers in retrieving as much information as I can on my mothers recipients.

Today, I received yet another heart warming letter of my mothers bone donation that went to help a woman in need.   On March 25, 2011 they harvested over 197 pieces and to date I have tracked down 149 of them.

I finally have peace in knowing where she is and I am no longer bitter over her death. I rejoice because while I was in agony another family was receiving their prayers all because of my mother. She is not gone for she lives on in others and possibly giving them a new outlook on life. This journey has gave me so much comfort in knowing none of her recipients has rejected and their all cherishing the life she helped saved.

Please die a hero and donate!

Mitzie Marie Paynter grew her wings in Huntington, WV on 3-25-11 at 4:54pm. She died in the arms of her high school sweetheart and her last words were "I love you." She left behind her high school sweetheart, a 11 year old grand daughter, a 9 year old grand daughter and a 3 year old grand son and most of all she left her 30 year old daughter behind.

I leave you all with the song that got me through this.

"I look to you-by Whitney Houston"


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  • Thank you so much. Its an honor to see my mom on a website such as this. This means the world to her family.  I hope that other donor's family's see this and find comfort or contact me and we can find comfort together. I hope that by sharing her story it will convince someone out there to donate and give the life to somebody else who so desperately needs it. Everyone was born with a purpose, just to happen my mothers was to give birth to me and to give two people the gift of site and several the gift of mobility. If anyone wants to speak privately they can reach out to me anytime. :) or if a recipient would like to ask questions on what to say to their donors family feel free to ask me that. Trust me, I spent 3 hours on the phone one weekend with a lovely heart recipient from Australia lol. So anytime- day or night I'm here.

    Much love to yall

  • Dear Kelly

    Thank you for enlightening our lives  with your Mom's beautiful gesture to be an organ donor.

    Right at this moment, I wish that I could give you a big hug.

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