Indiana woman receives liver from family member who fatally overdosed

Posted at 1:36 PM, Nov 07, 2019

DALEVILLE, Ind. — A woman says a family member who overdosed over the weekend is now saving the lives of others through organ donation.

Cyndi Fugate has been waiting and praying for the day her sister, Caron Daugherty, received a successful liver transplant and this week they got news that there was a match.

"My sister called and said 'you are not going to believe this, Doug's liver is a match' and I just started bawling," Fugate said.

The news came with a price and in the midst of grief. Doug Manning was a member of their family. He was the father of her niece and nephew and died after overdosing on Saturday.

"I think that's the hardest part of this whole thing is to know that my sister did live and she will live a long healthy life, but my niece and nephew lost their father," Fugate said.

While Fugate says she was shocked to find out his organs could still be donated after an overdose, the Indiana Donor Network says it's very common.

Leaders with the donor network say they have seen an increase in organ donations due to the number of overdose deaths in Indiana.

“We are very saddened for these families and these tragedies associated with the overdose and opioid epidemic, but something truly amazing and truly healing that can come out of that is the organ donation process,” said Steve Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of the Indiana Donor Network.

Now the family hopes their story will inspire others to become organ donors.

“Our sister is only living because of what he put on that driver’s license. When he [Manning] checked that box he saved her life," Fugate said.

For more information on organ donation you can visit the Indiana Donor Network’s website .

This story was originally published by Megan Sanctorum at WRTV.