Brittany Kate Hoover: A Selfless Soul Saves Four Lives.

by | Jan 2024

BRITTANY KATE Hoover saved four lives through organ donation, and she gave sight to two others through the gift of her corneas,” said her mom, Vivian. “I want everyone to know what a hero she is and how selfless she was in her final moments.”

Brittany was a registered organ donor and, on March 26, 2022, died unexpectedly at the age of 32 from cardiac arrest. Although in shock over the sudden loss of their beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend, Brittany’s family honored her last wish to “pay it forward.”

During her life, she established meaningful friendships, was selfless when it came to others, and was a devoted friend to animals, especially stray cats, so her decision to give life was no surprise.

Brittany was originally from Virginia Beach and, at a young age, began helping in a florist shop owned by her family. Her mother recalls, “By the age of 6, she could name every flower.”

She graduated from Tallwood High School, where she was an avid soccer player and an assistant Little League coach. After being accepted into the Job Corps program, she learned the skills needed to work for Food Lion after her move to Lynchburg. Her genuine smile, pure spirit, and willingness to go above and beyond made Brittany a valuable employee and friend to everyone who walked through the doors.

“March 24 started like a normal day. I got up and went to a job interview, but something didn’t feel quite right,” said her mom, Vivian. “Brittany usually texted me every night, and when I called later that day, someone told me she was in the intensive care unit at Lynchburg Memorial Hospital, three hours away.” When they arrived at the hospital, a caring nurse from Lifenet Health told them Brittany was an organ donor. “She’d shown no interest in getting her driver’s license, which is where most people check the box to become a donor, so we didn’t know.”

The next day, Brittany’s mother was in awe as she emerged from the elevator for the honorable “walk of life.” As she walked behind her daughter’s hospital bed, nurses, doctors, and strangers lined the hallways to pay their last respects. Even with all the support, it was the hardest walk she had ever had to walk. “There were signs all along the way that we were doing the right thing. Brittany’s favorite movie was “The Little Mermaid,” and the LifeNet Health nurse assigned to her was named Ariel, just like the main character. That was just one of many signs that kept moving us forward.”

LifeNet Health talked the family through every step of the process and informed them of every important detail. “Brittany donated both corneas, her heart, both kidneys, her liver, 121 tissue samples, and her thyroid. We found out later, as our family left the hospital at 3 a.m. to head home, those who would receive her organs were arriving. As an end took place for us, a new beginning was happening for them.”

Vivian has received letters from three of the recipients and has met two of them in person, which has helped her healing journey through the loss of her oldest daughter.

“It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” she said, when a recent letter from the recipient of one of Brittany’s kidneys shared that he and his wife are now expecting their first child.

The recipient of her other kidney is 17, and before surgery, his entire family moved from North Carolina to Washington D.C. so he could be added to the transplant list. According to his last update, he is back home and recovering well, and life has returned to normal.

The person who received Brittany’s heart battled heart failure for over a year, and doctors just broke the news she had 24 hours to live when the call came. She’s in her 50s and assured us she will do everything possible to keep Brittany’s heart healthy. She goes to the gym, and she swims. Brittany loved sunflowers, so she filled a vase with them for her mantle to honor her.

On Jan. 1, 2023, a colorful floragraph of Brittany was created from coffee beans and strawberry seeds for the 134th celebration of the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California, and attached to the “Lifting Each Other Up” float representing Donate Life America. The hospital in Lynchburg also included Brittany’s name in the Ripples of Hope memorial. GN

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