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Organ Donation from NJ Teen Helps Williamsport Woman

WILLIAMSPORT -- An organ donation from a teen in New Jersey has helped a woman from Lycoming County.

Luke Bautista died last year, but his donated organs helped save almost 100 other people.

One recipient from our area met Luke's family for the first time on Sunday.

Missy Masse walks through the door of the NJ Sharing Network into the open arms of the Bautista family. Her six-hour drive from Williamsport to New Jersey may never have happened at all if not for the lifesaving donation from their 15-year-old son.

Last May, Luke Bautista died in an accident in their New Jersey home. The decision was made by older brother C.J. to donate Luke's organs.

"It's pretty crazy," said C.J. "You can take parts of him and put them in someone else. They're living on now and improved Missy's life and it's pretty cool."

Missy needed a pancreas. The call came, the organ arrived, and within hours, Luke's pancreas was now inside her, after an eight-hour surgery at Hershey Medical Center.

"I realized it was Mother's Day and I was still here with my daughter as a mom and another mom was having to grieve to put her son at rest," said Missy.

Luke's smile will live on in pictures and memories but between tissue and organ donations, he helped save nearly 100 lives.

Luke's mother Carla says it's what he would have wanted, and she says it even helps in the grieving process.

"I couldn't grasp it. I couldn't grasp it. A piece of my son was going to walk through that door, in a human, in another human, really impossible to grasp," she said.

"I'm nervous, what do you say. I said, 'thank you' but it doesn't seem like it's ever enough," said Missy.