WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - It was a celebration of life Friday night for a gift that can never truly be repaid.
The Heroes of Life Ceremony hosted by the Southwest Transplant Alliance and United Regional honored eleven Texoma organ donors.
The evening showed the donor's families how the selfless act extends farther than they will ever know, and how they are connected by the choice their loved ones made allowing them to give even in death.
Nanette Pace, STA Hospital Services Associate, said this gives the families a chance to remember the lives lost and the legacy they left behind.
Pace said it is incredible for them to know that something good came out of such a tragic event. A life like John Godwin's.
"They didn't expect me to live, had my wife plan my funeral, pick out my pallbearers and so we were that close," said Godwin. "Then at the last minute some great hero came along and I got a new heart."
Godwin said his donor not only saved his life but changed it for the better.
"When people reach out and save a stranger's life, there's nothing more powerful than that," said Godwin.
He said now it is important for him to live life to the fullest, not just for his donor but their family.
"I desperately want to be a good man, I desperately want to be worth it," said Godwin. "Because someone didn't die intentionally for me, but somebody died and because of it I lived, and that's just huge."
Something Beth Macias understands. Her 11-year old son Jared died after a driver hit a horse he was riding in Iowa Park four years ago.
Macias said making the choice for her son to become an organ donor was hard at first, but after learning more she knew it was the right thing to do.
"My son was a very wonderful boy," said Macias. "He loved people he loved helping people and if he could have made this choice, he would have made this choice as well."
A choice that has given four people the gift of life.
"We have been able to meet one," said Macias. "She's the left kidney recipient and she's amazing and she's part of our family now because Jared lives on not just in her but in the others as well."
Macias hopes to meet the other organ recipients one day and said it helps with the grieving process.