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Shooting victim’s organ donation saved the lives of two others, mother remembers her life

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:31 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - A Fort Wayne woman was shot and killed while driving her car in early December and her mother is remembering her life and how the tragedy turned into a life-saving measure.

20-year-old Ayania Coker was shot while driving her car on Euclid Avenue on December 5th in Fort Wayne. She was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries holding on for her life while her mother Minerva Coker was holding her hand.

Ayania Coker, 20
Ayania Coker, 20(Fort Wayne's NBC)

“Ayania was killed on December 5th of 2021,” Coker said. “She was the apple of my eye, she’s truly missed.”

Coker says her daughter was on life support and doctors told them she wouldn’t recover. Ayania’s sister, DeAsha Freshley, says that when she wondered about organ donation and quickly the family decided it was time to let go.

“I never expected anything like this to happen to her,” Freshley said. “It’s not fair, it’s sad, it is what it is now.”

Doctors and nurses at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne held an honor walk for Ayania. They walked down the halls paying respects as she was taking her last moments before she would donate her organs.

“It was the hardest day of my life,” Coker said. “Out of the tragedy, she saved lives. She lives on and that’s the greatest gift of all.”

Leaders with the Indiana Donor Network helped organize the donation and were by the family’s side. Coker says they even gave her a teddy bear that played the sound of her daughter’s heartbeat when she squeezed it. Ayania’s lungs went to a 64-year-old woman and her liver to a 24-year-old woman. She saved their lives.

“Knowing that she lives on through others, thanks mom for making that decision so she can live through someone else, she’s still spiritually out here,” Freshley said. “You are the best mom I could ever ask for. We are going to be okay. We are going to get through this. We are going to be fine.”

While Coker’s daugther is not here, she lives on in the lives of the two people she saved. Coker says she hopes to meet them soon.

Mother remembers daughter shot and killed
Mother remembers daughter shot and killed(Fort Wayne's NBC)

“I know I’m not the first person who has experienced this and I know I’m not the last. I’m just trying to keep my faith.”

She says more than anything they want justice for Ayania. Police say there are no suspects in the shooting as of now, but if you know anything call the Fort Wayne Police Department at 260-427-1222.

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