Baden teen giving back one last time after passing away
Published Friday, January 3, 2020 1:32PM EST Last Updated Sunday, January 5, 2020 2:11PM EST
KITCHENER -- Sunday morning was a tragic and heartbreaking time for the family of 18-year-old Zoey Waters.
The Baden teen was taken off life support Saturday night and passed away the following morning.
Her family is working with the Trillium Foundation, in coordinating her organ donation. They say she will save the lives of up to 70 other people.
“That’s what we’re holding onto,” says Shane Waters, Zoey’s uncle. “Our angel Zoey is providing her love and her life for up to 70 people.”
Waters, an avid horseback rider, was on her way to the barn on Dec.17.
That’s when tragedy struck.
Both she and another driver were taken to hospital.
Waters was later airlifted to Hamilton General Hospital where she has been on life support the past two weeks.
The family made the decision to take her off life support before the New Year to spare her from a bed-ridden life, with three incurable brain injuries and no function.
“Obviously we knew it was happening,” says Shane. “When it actually happens it gets harder.”
He adds that the organ donations are a selfless act that fits Waters’ character.
“She put everybody else first and that’s what made her absolutely amazing,” says Shane. “That’s what we have to continue to keep us together: her strength, her positive being, and her big heart.”
Her uncle is thanking the community for being there for Zoey and their family.
“Not only just our immediate family, but our extended family, and the community has probably been our pillar of strength through this tragic event,” he says. “Our small community of Baden, my family at work, my wife’s family at work, my entire family, my extended family, and people we don’t know have reached out and helped us take every stride.”
Her family describes Zoey as someone who makes the best of every situation with her strength and love. They will be keeping her in their hearts.
“We all have to just remember who she was, the ray of sunshine, the smile, the beautiful girl she was,” Shane says. “Growing up in a small community and her horse background, her ties to Baden, the former Teddy’s Bakery.
“We just have to keep that angel in our hearts and try to smile about it and be positive about it every day.”
Shane says the family is planning for a celebration of life rather than a funeral.
A fundraiser for Waters has raised over $30,000 so far. Shane adds that the decision on what happens to the money lies with her immediate family and may go to the celebration of life.