‘Love Like Allyson’: 29-year-old donates organs after losing battle with epilepsy
Before she passed, Allyson made a decision to become an organ donor at age 17.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Certain emails hit hard, like one received last week about this beautiful woman, Allyson.
Allyson’s mom sent the email. She did so because Allyson is no longer here to be able to write it herself.
Teri Julian said her daughter died at 29 years old, after a lifelong battle with epilepsy.
She was hospitalized in October of 2020 with uncontrolled seizures, aspirated during one of them, went into cardiac arrest, and was then on life support for six days. Testing afterward showed she was brain dead.
”As her mom, my worst fear was she’d be forgotten,” Teri said. “I wanted her spirit of kindness to continue in our community.”
From that intent to carry on a spirit of kindness, came “Love Like Allyson,” a mission, a thought, a goodness that her mom keeps in the forefront as she tries to inspire others.
It is not a 501©3 or non-profit. It’s merely a mindset Teri tries to spread.
She does have a Facebook page explaining more, here >>> Love Like Allyson.
”When we step outside ourselves and see others and their needs, we rise above our own human imperfections and step into transcendent love,” Teri said. “Never did we think Allyson would be called home so soon. It still hurts so much. Allyson was giving, compassionate, kind, and courageous. With ‘Love Like Allyson,’ we promote these attributes.”
They also promote organ donation. When Allyson was 17, she checked the heart box at the DMV so, on Oct. 30, 2020, her family honored those wishes and donated Allyson’s lungs, both kidneys, and corneas.
”Our family has had the blessing of meeting several of her organ recipients,” Teri said. “A lung recipient was in Texas, and the recipient of her right kidney lives in Shelby, North Carolina. Organ donation is a life-changing gift, we’ve now seen for ourselves.”
Allyson lived in Mooresville. Since her death, her family has hosted grass-roots events and spread her story throughout the Iredell County area.
”We’ve hosted three benefited charity presales, and given 100% of the ticket money sale to The Addison Hutchison Foundation, the Mooresville Kindness Closet, Bright Blessings LKN and scholarships for WinShape Camps (Mooresville, NC),” Teri said. “We also collected beanies and gloves for homeless shelters, and gathered 5,428 pairs of socks. We distributed those socks to area-shelters all over North Carolina. And because Allyson’s favorite flowers were sunflowers, I buy dozens of sunflowers and randomly give them to strangers in parking lots twice a year, and share my daughter’s organ donation story.”
Teri says little things like that add up, to feel big.
“Oh!” she added at the end of her note. “And another thing we do? On what would be Allyson’s birthday, December 29th, we’ve gone to the local grocery and surprise-paid for someone’s birthday cake in her honor.”
Next week is Valentine’s Day. Feb. 14 also happens to be National Organ Donor Day. It’s a great time to share Allyson’s spirit, and her mom’s remarkable efforts to keep that spirit alive.
”We hope Allyson’s story will bring on a conversation with someone about organ donation,” Teri said. “Allyson made that unselfish decision to help someone else, when she was only 17. We never thought our precious girl would run to heaven before us, but we are grateful she made the decision to check that box in case of an untimely death, because that became beautiful light in the middle of our grief.”
We often read articles about recipients of organ donations: Those are important. But how special tonight to read a note from the mom of a donor hero.
PS: I know Allyson is older than what we would normally consider the age of one of our amazing MollysKids. But she made the decision to be an organ donor at 17, and I think that counts for something important. She was just a teen when she decided to save other lives, if needed...and then she did.
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