Unexpected death leads to celebration of life for 15 y/o organ donor
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- 15 year old Alexis Bonadies was always the life of the party. She was a sophomore at Riverdale High School, and loved One Direction.
Her friends described her as “crazy” and “tough”, which is why they were shocked to learn she was rushed to the hospital last Wednesday.
“I didn’t think it was real,” said her best friend, Nyla. “I got to the car and my mom told me and I was like ‘This has to be a joke, this can’t be happening.'”
Alexis collapsed suddenly in her home. She was taken to Healthpark Hospital, and went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance.
“It was probably the scariest most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever seen.” said her mother, Kim Bonadies. Kim was with Alexis when she collapsed, and started convulsing.
“You never expect to put your kid in an ambulance.. and never see them again.. ever.”
Alexis coded at the hospital, and was unconscious for 10 days. She was pronounced dead Friday.
“We tried everything- talking in her ear hours at a time ‘Alexis, please come back!’ You try everything…”
Her father, Lou Bonadies, said he watched EMS take her from the home. He tells WINK News he last thing he said to her was “We’ll meet you at the hospital, I love you.”
“We’re speechless, it’s so unimaginable to know one second, how literally you hear lives change in a second, that is truly- the way it happened.”
Just before her death, Alexis got her drivers permit. She opted to be an organ donor.
Her parents admit, they were surprised and nervous at first.
“Don’t be thinking about that” Bonadies recalled telling her. Now, they say they’re more than proud.
“It’s amazing to be able to give life to someone else through kindness and thoughtfulness. I wish there was some way that that would have been able to extend to her- cause this would be a different story”
Alexis was healthy, and had no prior medical issues, according to her family.
Saturday afternoon, more than 60 family members, and friends gathered outside Healthpark, to honor her decision.
They raised a “Donate Life” flag, which will fly for three days, thanking her for her life changing decision.
“She’s gone, but she’s gone with kind of a reason. She’s an organ donor, she’s living through other people.” said Nyla.
“You always wonder if you’re doing a good job as parents and I really have to say, I think we did.”
Her mother Kim said, she and her family had been sleeping at the hospital every night since she was admitted, hoping for a miracle. When she did finally go home, she felt a sign.
“I went home to take a shower- a one direction song came on. It was ‘What makes you Beautiful’. I sat in the drive way and I looked at the front door and I looked at the radio and I kind of knew she came home with me.”
The family tells WINK News her liver will be donated to a 17 year old girl in Georgia.
Her family and friends also plan to change their status to organ donors, and get tattoo’s of her favorite symbols and colors, in honor of Alexis.