HERO WITHIN: Teen donates organs, saves girl's life - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

HERO WITHIN: Teen donates organs, saves girl's life

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Last year's death of a 15-year-old Charles City boy turned his family's life upside down, but thanks to an unselfish act, another person is alive.

It's been six months since Logan Luft was killed in an ATV accident in Charles City. When Logan got his license, he listed himself as an organ donor. When he died his family honored his wishes. His family knew Logan's organs saved several people's lives, but they never knew who, until now. Logan's family finally met one of Logan's organ recipients...making losing him a little easier.

"It was a very dark day, in fact I looked at July 7th as being probably one of the most difficult times of our life," described Wendy Luft, Logan's mother.

On the Fourth of July, her son Logan was being a typical teenage boy, out riding an ATV with friends.

"He was a passenger and they were playing chase on the vehicles, you know 15-year-old boys being boys got carried away," said Wendy. "The vehicle actually overturned and landed on top of him."

Crews were able to keep Logan breathing and he was eventually transported to the hospital where he was deemed brain dead.

"We unfortunately knew as a family that evening there was nothing else they could do for Logan, unfortunately he wasn't going to be able to make it," said Wendy.

Logan's younger siblings, Lilly and Landon had a hard time coping with what was happening to their brother.

"It didn't even seem real it was like I was in a big dream...I wanted to wake up," said Landon Luft.

Logan remained on life support for a few days.

"You really really desperately want this child to live enough, for long enough, to be able to help other people," said Wendy.

While the Luft's were in the hospital, saying goodbye a family in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota was was anxiously waiting word that a liver had been found for their 15-year-old daughter, Faith.

"We were told this could take some time, but we didn't know how much time we had," said Pete Westby, Faith's father.

After months of waiting, The Westby family got the call.

"Yes we are saving our daughter's life, but somebody had to lose a life and that was difficult for us," said Pete.

"As a recipient you know where that organ is coming from, but I don't know that you are prepared when the day comes that somebody's tragedy just saved our daughter," said Jeannie Westby, Faith's mother.

Three days after the holiday, doctors would harvest Logan's organs. His bones, tendons and tissue, helped others and ultimately saved Faith's life. 

"We no longer look at July 7th the same way that we used to because now after hearing of their story and their journey it's the most amazing and joyful days that we can imagine," said Wendy.

The Luft's and Westby's are now part of a brand new family. 

"We've grown to love Faith so much...had our son not given her a liver, she may not be here today and it would be such a travesty if the Westby family would have lost their daughter," said Wendy.

"The gift of life means to us is our daughter's life, it's the best gift that we will ever receive," said Jeannie.

The families are now connected through Faith, and a boy....a hero.

"Logan is absolutely our hero, Logan was chosen...I wish I would have known Logan, I do know Logan, he's with us everyday, he's part of our family, but I wish I would have known him," said Jeannie.

"It's hard to say, but yeah he is a hero," said Wendy. "We didn't chose to be in this situation and we didn't chose for Logan to lose his life that day, but we know that there was a purpose behind it and we believe that with our whole heart and this is living proof."

Both the Luft's and Westby's are huge advocates for organ donation. Even though Logan was only 15, the Iowa Donor Network says anyone can be an organ donor no matter what age. If the donor is a minor, parents will have final say.

Some people spend years on the wait list and some only a few weeks, but the Iowa Donor Network says Iowa's wait list times are shorter than the rest of the nation and that there are 1.7 million people listed as organ donors in our state.

For more information on organ donation CLICK HERE. 

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