Greenville Family Wishes Daughter’s Gift Keeps Giving After Tragedy
For the Hays family in Greenville, Dec. 8 would be a day they never forgot.
“One day just one day changes your life,” said mother Brandy Hays. It would be the last time she heard her morning “I love you,” from her daughter, Lilianne. “I never got to hear her voice again,” Brandy said.
Savannah and her little sister, Lilianne, were driving to school that morning. Savannah told News 8 that an aggressive driver was driving erratically. After Lilianne Hays died in a car accident, her organs went to seven individuals awaiting donations. News 8’s Jobin Panicker has more. “He would back off and get closer again, and I didn’t understand what he was doing,” Savannah said.
“As soon as we wrecked, the car was laying sideways, and I noticed she wasn’t next to me,” Savannah said, referring to her 16-year-old little sister. Family told News 8 that Lilianne was thrown from the car after her seatbelt broke.
The Department of Public Safety says they are still investigating the incident, and, at this time, it could not either conclude or rule out that road rage played a role in the incident.
Lilianne, who was heavily involved in her church and who still has her stocking up for Christmas, would fight for her life at Parkland.
“She was pure innocence. Never done any wrong at all,” said her brother, Jonathan, who had just returned home from active Army duty.
Savannah came away with minor injuries, but today, she clutches her sister’s blanket for comfort.
The family says Lilianne died from head trauma. But there was a slight comfort for the family, in spite of the incredible tragedy, when they learned Lilianne’s organs could be donated.
“There was no hesitation,” the mother said.It was a chance and a choice to assit.
“Lilianne didn’t need them anymore, and Lilianne was such a giving person,” Brandy Hays said. “She would have wanted to do that.” The girl from Greenville who loved her selfies would give all of her self: her heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and liver. “It’s hard on us, because we had to lose our child, but it’s the ultimate Christmas gift for the families,” said Lilianne’s father, Ernest.
One day, they hope to meet those families. There are seven lives she may have saved after losing her own.
“I just hope the heart recipient didn’t have diabetes, because her heart was pure sugar,” the father said, a light-hearted moment in a very troubling time.
And the family credits their church and faith to their strength through these tough times.