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Anderson County teen gives gift of life through organ donation

Posted at 6:02 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 11:13:10-05

ANDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — It's no secret that 18-year-old Jill Hurst was full of life.

Her mother, Christy Hurst, said she was a giving, kind and humble person.

"She just had a huge heart and she just wanted all of her friends to come over all the time," Hurst said.

Jill's parents even called her their "miracle baby" because she was born after doctors told them they could not get pregnant.

However, her life was cut short on Sept. 6, 2019, when police were chasing a man who crashed into Jill's car as she left a high school football game.

"It's just your biggest nightmare to get that phone call," Christy Hurst said.

Doctors did their best, but they couldn't save her.

"We knew that she wasn't going to make it and the doctor came in and talked to us and they didn't ask us about organ donation because as soon as he told us that there was nothing more they could do for Jill we looked at him and told him we wanted to donate Jill's organs," Hurst said.

Hurst said she and her husband knew Jill would have wanted her organs donated because she applied as an organ donor when she got her driver's license. According to Hurst, Jill also talked about her wishes.

"We watch the news and there will be a story about an organ donor and she would say 'Wow, if something happens to me I hope I can donate my organs,'" Hurst said.

Jill also retweeted a tweet about organ donation before her death.

Over the next few days, Jill's parents and friends enjoyed the time they had left as the organ donation team organized the transplants.

"We gave her manicures and pedicures," Hurst said. "We had arts and crafts and got hand prints and fingerprints. Her friends came at night and we had a dance party with her and played her favorite songs and her friends got to have one last fun night with her. She wasn't there physically, but we knew she was there with us."

Through her donations, Hurst said Jill has save five lives. She donated her heart, liver, kidneys, corneas, skin from her hip and the bones in her legs. She also donated her pancreas and intestines for research.

The Hurst family is meeting Jill's heart recipient on Saturday at the Mayo Clinic in Florida.