LIFE-SAVER: Chardré Yawana looking every inch the prom queen. She died in a road accident in 2002. *Photo supplied
LIFE-SAVER: Chardré Yawana looking every inch the prom queen. She died in a road accident in 2002. *Photo supplied

When the young Chardré Yawana was killed in a tragic road accident on January 1, 2002, her contribution to this world was far from over.

Her mother Charmaigne Laws agreed to donate her daughter’s tissues and organs to help enhance and save the lives of others. And now Ms Laws is to meet, for the first time, the man whose life was saved when he received her daughter’s heart.

José Famania, who will fly to Bermuda from Boston this Sunday, is the same age as Ms Yawana and he is eternally grateful to the girl he never had the opportunity to thank. He will, however, get to thank Ms Laws who, before Sunday, had only been in contact with him via telephone and the Internet.

Speaking exclusively to the Bermuda Sun, Ms Laws said: “He calls me his ‘other mom’ and I call him my ‘son’. It’s been 12 years since Chardré passed away but I am just so excited.

“I didn’t think twice when I was asked to donate her organs because I know when you are dead, you are dead — you aren’t going to know anything is missing. 

“She was 20, it was unfortunate, but many lives were saved and enhanced as a result of that gift. If I had one thing to say to anyone, it is to be an organ donor.

“I had sent off five letters to recipients of my daughter’s organs and tissues and only one responded — I don’t know but it didn’t matter I met the one I wanted to meet — the one who got her heart.” n

Organ and Tissue Awareness Week runs from April 20 to 26.