11-year-old’s tragic death gives relative a new chance at life

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CHICAGO -- 36-year-old Darvece Monson fought back tears as she spoke with reporters Sunday, knowing that her life was saved by the death of her 11-year-old relative Takiya Holmes.

Holmes was killed last week by a stray bullet while she was sitting in a car with family members on the South Side. She was on life support for more than a day so that her organs could be used for transplants, and was pronounced dead by doctors early on Tuesday morning.

The family announced that her kidney would go to Monson, who has been waiting for a kidney transplant for two years. At least five other people received organ transplants as a result of donations from Holmes.

“To be here now and to be a recipient of this kidney from this young girl and have her family think of me, when they’re grieving -- and she’s just not even buried yet," Monson said. “It just means that i have to do more, because she left a legacy."

Monson received the life-saving transplant on Friday, preformed by the University of Chicago’s Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplants, Dr. Yolanda Becker.

"It’s a completely selfless act at a time of a senseless tragedy,and for that we are completely grateful," Becker said.

Monson said she plans to continue working as a transplant advocate as she returns to her normal life, including running marathons.