Family gives life to others after tragic death - KMSP-TV

Family gives life to others after tragic death

Posted: Updated:
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Family photos and precious memories fill the walls of the Stillman household in West Bloomfield. 19-year-old Emily Stillman grew up there with her brother, sister, and loving parents.

Back in February the sophomore at Kalamazoo College called her mom to say she had a bad headache. No one knew it was bacterial meningitis. That night, Emily was admitted to the hospital, where she later died.

Emily had been vaccinated against meningitis, but doctors say the strain she contracted is not covered by vaccines in the U.S. When it was clear she was brain dead and would not recover, her family was faced with a painful decision - whether to donate her organs. At first they said "no."

But a split second change of heart changed countless lives.

This past weekend the Stillmans met 34-year-old Guy Mulligan of Ohio, his wife Amy, and their four and six-year-old sons. Guy, a physician whose heart was failing after surviving childhood cancer, received Emily's heart.

The families spent two days looking at old photos, sharing stories, and getting to know each other.

The Stillmans gave Guy a glass heart that once hung in Emily's room. It says "love" and "blessed."

Emily's lung, liver and kidneys were also donated.  The family has met two other recipients and they're still waiting to hear from two more.

The Stillman's are creating the Emily Stillman Foundation to educate people about bacterial meningitis, the importance of vaccines, and organ donation.

They hope to inspire others to give the gift of life, and change lives, like they did.

Join the Stillman family for the 9th annual "Bringing Organ Donation Awareness to our Faith Communities" seminar on October 30th. The event takes place at Temple Israel (5725 Walnut Lake Road) in West Bloomfield.

The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is $15 dollars at the door. Continental breakfast starts at 8 a.m. and lunch is included.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Pensioners approve Detroit bankruptcy plan

    Pensioners approve Detroit bankruptcy plan

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:39 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:39:04 GMT
    The city of Detroit says workers and retirees have approved pension cuts, a crucial step to emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city reported results Monday after two months of balloting ended July 11. A judge still must hold a trial to determine if Detroit's overall bankruptcy plan is fair and feasible, but support from retirees is vital.
    The city of Detroit says workers and retirees have approved pension cuts, a crucial step to emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city reported results Monday after two months of balloting ended July 11. A judge still must hold a trial to determine if Detroit's overall bankruptcy plan is fair and feasible, but support from retirees is vital.
  • DPD's 6th precinct struck by bullets in drive-by shooting

    DPD's 6th precinct struck by bullets in drive-by shooting

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:06:31 GMT
    Detroit police say bullets struck the 6th Precinct building during a drive-by shooting. This was the same precinct where four officers were shot back in 2011.
    Detroit police say bullets struck the 6th Precinct building during a drive-by shooting. This was the same precinct where four officers were shot back in 2011.
  • City turns down Vinsetta Garage's new parking proposal

    City turns down Vinsetta Garage's new parking proposal

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:31:49 GMT
    Vinsetta Garage, a popular restaurant in Berkley, proposed to tear down several homes and build a parking lot to solve the parking issue in the neighborhood, but the proposal was turned down Monday at city hall.
    Vinsetta Garage, a popular restaurant in Berkley, proposed to tear down several homes and build a parking lot to solve the parking issue in the neighborhood, but the proposal was turned down Monday at city hall.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices