Family gives life to others after tragic death - Fox 2 News Headlines

FOX Medical Team

Family gives life to others after tragic death

Posted: Updated:

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) - Family photos and precious memories fill the walls of the Stillman household in West Bloomfield. 19-year-old Emily Stillman grew up there with her brother, sister, and loving parents.

Back in February the sophomore at Kalamazoo College called her mom to say she had a bad headache. No one knew it was bacterial meningitis. That night, Emily was admitted to the hospital, where she later died.

Emily had been vaccinated against meningitis, but doctors say the strain she contracted is not covered by vaccines in the U.S. When it was clear she was brain dead and would not recover, her family was faced with a painful decision - whether to donate her organs. At first they said "no."

But a split second change of heart changed countless lives.

Last month, the Stillmans met 34-year-old Guy Mulligan of Ohio, his wife Amy, and their four and six-year-old sons. Guy, a physician whose heart was failing after surviving childhood cancer, received Emily's heart.

The families spent two days looking at old photos, sharing stories, and getting to know each other.

The Stillmans gave Guy a glass heart that once hung in Emily's room. It says "love" and "blessed."

Emily's lung, liver and kidneys were also donated.  The family has met two other recipients and they're still waiting to hear from two more.

The Stillman's are creating the Emily Stillman Foundation to educate people about bacterial meningitis, the importance of vaccines, and organ donation.

They hope to inspire others to give the gift of life, and change lives, like they did.

This story originally appeared on MyFoxDetroit.com.

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:48:17 GMT
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
  • FOX Medical Team

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:19 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:19:49 GMT
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
  • Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers & doctor

    Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers & doctor

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:59:23 GMT
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices