OPELOUSAS, La. (KPEL News) - After the sudden death of her son to gun violence in Opelousas, Taneisha Richard made a decision that wound up saving someone else's life.

A shooting at North City Park resulted in the death of 15-year-old Roderick Jones, Jr. According to a new report from KLFY, Richard's decision to donate her son's organs would ultimately benefit a Ville Platte woman who had just about given up hope of finding a match.

As she said goodbye to her son, as hard as it was, she knew she made the right decision.

“His heart and his organs were so strong to where I couldn’t just let them go to waste. I had to. I had to put them to good use. Now he’s saving other people’s lives, people’s lives that have been on the list for years. They were giving up. Now they have a chance to live again through my child,” Taneisha added.

Nikya Williams, who lives in Ville Platte, says she was close to giving up when the two women met on Facebook.

“Her son and I were a perfect match,” Nikya said.

After 3 years of being on a transplant list for a new kidney, doctors found she and Roderick shared the same rare blood type.

Here's KLFY's full report from Britt Lafaso.

Why Donating Organs Is So Important

According to government data, 17 people a day die while waiting for an organ transplant. By far, the most-needed organ for donation is a kidney - as of January of this year, nearly 89,000 people were on the waiting list for one.

There are thousands more waiting on a heart, lung, and more.

According to the 2019 National Survey of Organ Donation Attitudes and Practices, 90 percent of adults support organ donation but only 60 percent are actually signed up as donors. That leaves a lot of folks in need of life-saving organs.

There are currently more than 104,000 people on the national transplant waiting list, according to OrganDonor.gov. The list is incredibly diverse and includes people of every age, ethnicity, and gender.

You can learn more about organ donation here.

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