Tragic Loss Saves Other Lives

As record setting tornadoes bore down on Oklahoma City, 24-year-old Dana Pritchett lay dying in a hospital's intensive care unit, waiting for a liver transplant. The twisters would prove to be life altering for her.

"I feel a hundred percent better, that's for sure," Pritchett says, a week after the natural disaster that destroyed towns and took lives. Her doctor, Anthony Sebastian, says that she had been in critical condition. She received a liver from a donor "just in the nick of time," he says.

Thirty miles southwest of the hospital, Bridge Creek, Okla., was the hardest hit community in the state. Tornadoes killed eleven people there, including Suzanne Cox, a 48-year-old widow with a liver that matched Pritchett.

Instantly, 19-year-old Kelly Cox was facing the death of her mother and decisions about life for a stranger. "I just told her I couldn't thank her enough...I wouldn't probably be here if she hadn't made that decision," Pritchett says.

The silver lining furnished by Suzanne Cox and her daughter has more than one layer. A liver went to Pritchett, but a heart to someone desperate in Louisiana, and Cox's kidneys were transplanted into two needy people in Pennsylvania.

"It's like a miracle that this happened through all this destruction," Pritchett 's mother says.

The transplant took 5 1/2 hours of surgery. The doctor heading the surgical team says "miracle" is the only way to explain the last 10 days here. "I believe it's God's will that this happens," Dr. Sebastian says.

This story of mothers and daughters has only added to the questions still spinning over Oklahoma, where dozens met death and one woman found life.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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