Organ recipient celebrates donors life: 'He cared for everybody'

Michelle Halle (left) with Veronica Marshall (right) at the open house. (KBOI photo)

Ten years ago, Veronica Marshall lost her sixteen-year-old son, Jacob, in a car accident. When faced with the option of organ donation, Marshall says she did what Jacob would have wanted.

“Honestly it just filled me with such a sense of peace that that was the right thing to do," she said.

Oregon resident, Michelle Halle, is alive today because of Jacob's organs. She was diabetic and suffering from the side effects of not taking care of her illness over a long period of time. Halle received Jacob Marshall’s liver and pancreas.

“I couldn’t go out and play in the snow with my kids. Going for a walk took a lot out of me and now I run around the park with my granddaughter,” Halle said. “I got to see our oldest daughter get married and I’ve seen two grand babies come into this world. And I wouldn’t have had that if Veronica hadn’t given me that gift of life.”

Shortly after Jacob’s death, Marshall wrote a letter to the recipients of his organs. She was not ready to meet any of them, but wanted to let them know it was what her son would have wanted.

A few years and letters later, Marshall met Halle. The two have kept in touch ever since.

For the ten-year anniversary of her son’s passing, Marshall held an open house to celebrate the life of Jacob and the life of Halle. Halle traveled from Oregon to help honor Jacob and share her story to inspire future donors.

“He would be so honored to know that people are still celebrating him and thinking about him and loving him,” Marshall said of her son, Jacob. “He had such a huge heart, he cared for everybody, and for him to be able to see ten years later there are still loving me as much as they did when I was here he would absolutely just be in awe.”

Both Michelle and Veronica will be guest speaking at an event for ‘Yes’ Idaho Donor Registry on Sunday.