JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It was three days after Christmas 2012 when Jennifer Wilson's life was shattered. Her 8-year-old daughter Holly was killed in a crash while riding on an errand with a relative.
"A semi truck hit the passenger side of the vehicle, and my son was up front, and my daughter was in the back passenger side," Jennifer said.
Although her 10-year-old brother Gavin survived, little Holly would succumb to her injuries.
"All I could think about was, 'if I could help another family not feel how I felt in that moment, why wouldn't I?,'" Jennifer recalled to First Coast News.
The loss and the memories left behind were profound.
"She was something," the mother said. "Sassy, prissy, loud, screamed a lot, wanted to be famous. Dancing, singing, acting - it didn't matter, she just really wanted to be famous. People always say the first time they ever met her, you just couldn't help but love her."
One other talent Holly loved to indulge, said her Mom, was drawing.
"Amazing artist, at school mostly. Just very uplifting," Jennifer said.
It was that ache to spare other families a similar loss that brought the grief-stricken Jennifer to a snap decision in the hours following the crash.
"I said 'I want two things: I want to cremate her and I want to donate her organs'," Jennifer recalled.
It's a decision many families have to make on the worst day of their lives.
"Most of our patients are unexpected deaths, so that makes it even more difficult for the families." organ procurement coordinator Terri McQuiddy explained.
McQuiddy counsels bereaved families on behalf of Gainesville-based LifeQuest, the company that promotes organ donation in a 36-county region that includes northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.
"My job is to take care of the organ donor in the ICU, manage their care," McQuiddy said. She and her colleagues routinely help families make decisions about organ donation, particularly in instances which mortally injured or wounded patients are not already registered.
But Jennifer Wilson made her decision without such intercession. Her daughter's organs saved at least four people.
"Two children were actually saved, and then two adults: a 27-year-old man and then a 65-year-old woman," she said.
But for Jennifer that wasn't enough. She wanted even strangers to see the world through Holly's eyes, hoping she could save many more lives than the four saved by her daughter's vital organs. She decided to dye her hair green, the official color symbolizing organ donation. She also decided to use her largest organ - her skin - as a canvas for several pieces of Holly's school artwork to be reproduced in tattoo form.
"When they say something to me about my tattoo, bring it back to organ donation," she reasoned. "How else can I raise awareness that just has become such a huge part of my life?"
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What's also huge is the crisis. Although Florida's donor registration statistics are better than national averages, the supply falls far short of demand. The state's waiting list currently hovers at about 5,400 patients waiting for transplants. Nationally, 22 people die every day while waiting. Every ten minutes, a new name is added to the list of those in need.
Those closest to the cause say some of the biggest obstacles to donation are pure myth.
"That the ambulance will take you around the corner and let you die before they take you to the hospital," Jennifer said is one major misunderstanding.
McQuiddy and her colleagues point out that first responders and even emergency room staff aren't typically even aware of whether a patient is registered.
"I don't want people to think that this is just about recovering organs or waiting for someone to die," she assured.
Furthermore, donors can itemize the organs they're okay with giving, instructing doctors to leave other body parts intact. Jennifer Wilson says she would never have allowed her daughter's body to be desecrated.
"You can still have an open casket, a viewing, a normal funeral," she asserted. "They take the organs, they put you all back together. Any skin or tissue that is taken is taken from clothed areas."
Nor would she encourage anyone to do what she hasn't - or wouldn't - do already. She said she'll never stop speaking with people, whether scheduled in front of a group or in the grocery aisle.
"I just recently cried with a girl at Trader Joe's," she said with a tearful smile.
Jennifer has no plans to stop baring her soul. As for the body art, she said she won't stop baring and adding tattoos of Holly's vision until she can meet with the little boy who received Holly's heart.
[I'll] record her heartbeat and then have it tattooed right underneath her name," she pledged. "That'll be the moment that I hear her heart again, which I haven't heard in a very long time."
Somewhere, that heart is beating.
"And not only that, but keeping somebody else alive," Jennifer said.
You can also register at your local Department of Motor Vehicles.