Opelousas Girls Give Of Themselves–During Life And After
Morgan Adams and Sarah Jarrell were the poster girls of vibrant youth--both cheerleaders, both good students, both involved in their church and school. Jacqueline Robinson, who is a junior at Opelousas Catholic School and co-captain of the cheerleading squad, remembers them fondly as girls whom you couldn't help but smile when you were around them.
"Morgan...loved to make people laugh and smile," Jacqueline says. "If you were having a bad day, go to Morgan--she would make you laugh. And Sarah, if you needed advice on anything...she was there for you."
Jacqueline describes them as girls extremely involved in cheerleading, but they somehow made time for sports and other school activities. Between the two of them, they played basketball, soccer, softball, and track. Add to that BETA Club, drama club, prom committee, and their church's youth group, and you start to get a picture of just how involved in their community they were. And Jacqueline says Morgan had goals of becoming an LSU cheerleader, devoting even more time to training.
All of those hopes, dreams, and aspirations, though, were tragically cut short last week. Morgan and Sarah were just pulling out of a driveway when another car crashed into theirs. They would remain on life support for days thereafter but eventually succumbed to their injuries. They were officially pronounced dead Saturday night.
Joint funeral services were held Wednesday at St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas. They were laid to rest separately following the services. Students and faculty at Opelousas Catholic School took the day off to pay their respects.
The stories of Morgan and Sarah have made such an impact that it has sparked the creation of a Facebook page, Morgan Adams and Sarah Jarell--Always in Our Hearts. Here, family, friends, and the community in general have posted memories, pictures, and condolences.
"My first experiences as a cheerleader were with you and even though you were SO much more talented than me, you never made me feel like I was never meant to be there," writes one person. "Morgan Adams and Sarah Jarrell are two beautiful ladies that is cheering in heaven," writes another.
And another person was so moved that she wrote a song about them.
But many of the posted comments repeatedly make mention of Morgan's and Sarah's giving natures. Jacqueline says it's only fitting they were both organ donors, and that a piece of them may live on in someone else.
"To me they would want somebody to live and have a part of them in them because they were so sweet and kind and they'd want somebody else to feel better, too," she says.
Suzanna Morton, a community educator for the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, can't give many specific details about their case, but she says their organs will help save an untold number of lives.
"We have a team that is looking for homes--or looking for recipients of those organs," she says. "The organs are placed and the recipients have a second chance of life."
That is a small measure of comfort for those who knew Morgan and Sarah well. And Jacqueline at least, says she'll continue living in their memory.
"I just can't believe that they're gone, but I love them and I'll miss them dearly. And I'll cheer and dance for them as hard as I can."