Stories of Hope


Organ and Tissue Donor

In July 2013, the Swails family had been enjoying a summer day in their pool when 2-year-old Carla wiggled out of her life-preserver, went under water and swallowed incorrectly. She dry drowned, and after eight days at UF Health Shands Hospital, Carla was declared brain dead.

“Organ donation was never not an option four our family,” Jessica Swails, Carla’s mom, said. “If we had to make that decision, we knew we would choose donation.”

On Carla’s 10th day in the hospital, that decision became reality. Carla heroically donated five organs to save four lives. She also donated tissue, improving the lives of dozens more.

“Organ donation is the ultimate gift,” Jessica said. “At the end of the day, why not? Be the person who gives life so others can live.”

Read More Stories