Reporting Mary Bubala
PASADENA, Md. (WJZ) — One last gift. The sudden death of a Pasadena teen outside a carnival teaches her family a life lesson about organ donation.
Mary Bubala tells us about an amazing young girl and how her legacy lives on.
One moment Kara Micciche is enjoying the carnival and the next, a scene of unspeakable horror her father can’t forget. He rushed to the scene of the accident.
“I was sitting there waiting for them to bring her out of the ambulance. I already knew she was gone,” said Joey Micciche, Kara’s father.
After a night of fun at the carnival, Kara and her boyfriend headed to their car crossing busy Ritchie Highway. The driver didn’t see them until it’s too late. The cross now marks the place where Kara died.
“It was tough,” her father said. “It’s still tough.”
A tragic hero. A lifesaver. An organ donor who through her death gave life.
“She wanted to help people,” he continued.
Kara’s family is only now able to talk about her death. Her father, aunt and little brother speak only to WJZ about what she taught them.
“She said she wanted to be an organ donor and I said ‘No, Kara. They’re not gonna cut on you.’ I said ‘If something happens to you, I ain’t gonna let them cut on you,’” Joey Micciche said.
They argued, but Kara was determined so he finally gave in. Her father says it was almost like she knew something was going to happen.
“She said ‘What good is it gonna do me?’ She said ‘I’ll be gone, and it’ll help someone else,’” he said.
The accident that killed Kara and critically injured her boyfriend shattered this close-knit family.
“She called me four minutes prior, so I’m thankful that I got to tell her I love her,” Joey Micciche said.
In death, Kara saved the lives of seven other people all because of the choice she made the year before.
The organ donation program Living Legacy says Kara’s father carried through on her commitment.
“Knowing her intention, knowing her wish is what really drove him to say yes,” said Charlie Alexander, The Living Legacy Foundation.
Right now 2,000 people in Maryland could die waiting for a transplant, but only half of all adults in our state are signed up to donate their organs.
“The wait list continues to grow, so we’re not meeting the need,” Alexander said.
Alexander says the biggest myth when it comes to organ donation is fear of mistreatment.
“I think there is a fear that ‘I may not be treated the same way in a hospital if I have a very devastating injury, and they know that I’m a donor,’” Alexander said.
The say the mission is to save lives, and they will go to the very end to save a life.
Kara’s aunt works hard getting people to sign up to be organ donors so that Kara’s legacy lives on.
“Her heart is still beating there somewhere, so part of her is still here. We might not know where it is or who’s got it, but her heart is still beating,” said Patty Mohr, Kara’s aunt.
“It’s nice that she can save somebody else, and I love her for it. But it’s still hard, knowing she’s out there,” Joey Micciche said.
Most people sign up to be organ donors at the Motor Vehicle Administration, but you can also click here to go to the Donate Life Maryland website to make this powerful gift.