One could say that miracles do happen: the story of Dominique Smith’s heart is the proof of that. When 49-year-old Vicki Olds’ daughter, Domonique ‘Nikki’ Smith, unexpectedly died at age 18 in June 2015, the grieving mother immediately offered to donate Nikki’s heart to her friend, Tanisha Basham.
Domonique ‘Nikki’ Smith, a 18-year-old, Valparaiso University student from Lakes of the Four Seasons, was pronounced dead in june 2015, after being found drowned. After investigating the case, the police declared in a statement, that the unexpected drowning was an accident. The girl was only 18 years old when she died.
As the grieving mother, Vicki Olds, said goodbye to her daughter, she learned that a longtime friend had a younger sister, called Tanisha Basham, who needed a heart transplant. Tanisha Bahsam had been on a waiting list for a new heart, because she had congestive heart failure, for 18 months. So the only thing grieving mother, Vicki Olds, thought to do, was donate her daughter’s heart to Bahsam.
Tanisha initially declined this selfless gift. But Vicki insisted. Afterwards, Tanisha underwent a successful heart transplant surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. What’s even more amazing is that the heart was a 100 percent match.
Dr. Antone Tatooles of Advocate Heart Institute at Christ Medical Center, said in a press release that he’s never witnessed a heart organ donation with such clear direction.
Fortunately, the match was proper, the size was proper, and it was the right heart for her.
he declared, in the same press release. Tatooles added that Olds’ donation was ‘incredibly generous’ in helping save Basham’s life.
Vicki and Tanisha shared their emotional story at a news conference Tuesday.
To know that, this is my baby who lives inside Tanisha, it was the most overwhelming thing a parent could ever experience, but yet it was a blessing.
According to ABC News, Basham honors Nikki by keeping a photo as a screensaver on her phone to remind her of the good fortune of Old’s generosity.
The medical center also added that when Tanisha Basham goes to her frequent echocardiogram appointments, Vicki accompanies her ‘so she can see her daughter’s heart beating in the body of her friend.’
According to the same medical center, Smith’s donated organs saved the lives of four other individuals, including another family friend who received a kidney.