DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - These days Juanita Alexander is content in a decision she had to make on January 11 of 2001.
It involved her 35-year-old daughter, Kim Roberts.
"She had been over here visiting that day, and she was going out 67 and had a seizure and went into cardiac arrest," said Alexander.
Although revived, Kim later died at Decatur General Hospital.
Alexander decided to take her tragedy and turn it into something positive to help someone else.
"It took them six hours to harvest her organs, so they got a good selection from her," said Alexander.
After following protocol with the Alabama Organ Center, she exchanged letters with some of the organ recipients.
"Oh, the first letter you get, it just, I mean, you've lost your loved one, but they say, 'You have given me the best thing you could ever do,' as that is the gift of life," she said.
Later she got to meet some of the people who benefited from her and her daughter's generosity.
Juanita said two lung recipients met her for a day in Birmingham. A 58-year-old man and a 19-year-old boy got the kidneys. The man didn't make it.
A 20-year-old girl got Kim's liver, and she was able to go to college.
There was even a surprise for Alexander.
"And the picture of Catherine over there, she got one of her corneas, and she was a friend of mine!" she said.
Both lung recipients have since died, but not before seeing grandchildren born and other cherished life experiences.
The husband of one wrote to Alexander after his wife passed away.
"He wrote me a letter still thanking me for saving her life, 'and you gave her nine and a half years.'"
Lives were touched and saved by one lost.