Digital Exclusive: Luzerne County teen who died in house fire saves lives through organ donation

Digital Exclusive

GLEN LYON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Grace Miller died on Sunday from smoke inhalation, days after a fire damaged her family’s home in Glen Lyon.

“A little piece of her soul is in each one. And she saved four lives. Four other mothers will not have to go through what I did,” Christina Miller, Grace Miller’s mother, said.

Though Grace’s life was cut short, her mother, Christine Miller, tells Eyewitness News her daughter helped save others in her death. Grace’s heart, liver, pancreas, kidney, and some skin and bone were donated through the Gift of Life program.

“We’re a very loving people and you know what if you met my daughter on the street and you said ‘Gracie Jean I need a liver’ she’d say yeah”, Miller said.

Miller says she woke up with her comforter on fire on that terrible day.

“The smoke was getting to me and I had to run out the front door with the portable oxygen tank that I had. And my son went out the back door. I thought she was behind him,” Miller said.

She says neighbors smashed the windows of the house and did everything possible to try and get Grace out from the second floor. Grace was rescued and taken to the hospital, and remained in critical condition until her death. Her family is devastated.

“I’m astonished at the outpouring from, I mean that started from just my own little nook there in Glen Lyon, and expanded to Nanticoke. And now has reached Florida and other states. I can’t put words on that,” Miller said.

Miller hopes Grace’s story encourages other people to become organ donors.

“I couldn’t believe how quickly they found people. I’m like all of that? Are you kidding me? And how many other people? The phone would ring and they would say ‘hey we got it!” and then bring them to the hospital,” Miller said.

A donation effort will be held on Sunday for the Miller family. Stacey Golembeski, a family friend, says gift cards and basic needs are needed. A contact-less drive up donation event will be held on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Saint Faustina Kowalska Parish.

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