A very active 9-year-old, Jessie Anna Starnes enjoyed karate, softball, basketball, Girl Scouts, reading and video games. She was also very attentive to the needs around her and would provide smiles, hugs and even her possessions as needed. During Spring break of her third grade year, she collapsed at home and began to have a seizure as a result of a brain aneurysm. It only made sense for her family to choose organ donation for Jessie, and she gifted life to seven individuals and was also a cornea donor. Her family founded Jessie's Desk, a nonprofit organization that provides children with school supplies, as Jessie used to do.
Active in karate, softball, basketball and Girl Scouts, Jessie Anna Starnes of Chattanooga, Tennessee, also loved to read and play video games. She was the kind of child who knew when someone needed a hug or smile and would give them freely. She gave away her things to others who needed them and would even befriend those on the playground who were sitting alone.
During Spring Break of her third grade year, Jessie planned many activities with her family and picked out her favorite places to go. On March 18, 2008, shortly after coming home from one of her outings, Jessie collapsed in the living room and began to have a seizure. Jessie had suffered a brain aneurysm.
Being such a giving child, it only made sense for her to be an organ donor. "Even though we were heartbroken, we wanted to turn our tragedy into someone else's triumph," said her parents. "She would have wanted it this way." Only 9 years old, Jessie gifted life to seven individuals and was also a cornea donor.
For Jessie's family has built on her living legacy by sharing Jessie's story as active volunteers, inspiring others to register as donors. They also created Jessie's Desk, a nonprofit organization that – like Jessie used to do without her parents' knowledge – provides children with school supplies, to ensure no one went without the items they needed.