EarthAngels was founded in memory of a close friend of ours named Allison Barkyoumb. Allison was born with a heart valve that was too small. She had her first open heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospital when she was only 6 months old. Throughout her life she had to go through many more major operations, including two more open heart surgeries and several ballooning operations in hopes of enlarging her valve. On August 9th, 2002, Allison went into her 8th surgery. When Allison told people about her upcoming operation, everyone assumed that it would be okay just like every other time. They were wrong. This time it didn't go okay. After many problems and complications, the doctors decided that Allison would need a new heart. Unfortunately that heart never came. Allison had a brain hemorrhage on September 12th, 2002, after weeks of waiting for a transplant. She was taken off life support the next day. She was only 15 years old.
You would never know that Allison had a heart problem just by looking at her. She was full of life and always had optimistic energy. Allison could take any boring situation and turn it into a great time. She was also one of the strongest people that we have ever met. Even though she had so many unfair things happen to her, she never once complained about her circumstances. When she had to go in for her operations, she barely ever shed a tear. She appreciated what she did have in life and made the most of every day. She was caring, nice, funny, brave, outgoing, and brought out the best in everyone around her. She was everything you could want in a friend.
From this experience we were made aware of the huge shortage of organ donors, and learned that many people are unaware of this issue. We hope that by sharing Allison's story we can help to increase the number of donors and make a difference in other people's lives, just as Allison did in ours.