Stewartville Woman Leaves Lasting Legacy Through Organ Donation

November 06, 2018 06:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Forty-seven-year-old Kari Koens, of Stewartville, died Monday.

She was hit by a car crossing Second Street Southwest in Rochester early Friday morning; but through her death, Koens was able to breathe life into others.


On Monday, there was a moment of silence, followed by "Amazing Grace," as friends, family and hospital workers said goodbye to Koens.

Tuesday morning, the "Donate Life" flag flew high outside Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, as it always does when a patient offers a gift of life; inside, dozens of people gathered to pay their respects to Koens and her family.

"I'm here with my wife and my two little girls, and I've been holding them really close lately these last couple days, because I can't fathom if something happened to my girls, so be praying for my mom," said Kendall Koens, Kari's brother, during a ceremony honoring his sister.

"All of us would describe her as 'joyful'."

Koens said his sister showed the utmost kindness to anyone she could.

"Kari found joy in showing love in many different ways to people and animals," Kendall Koens said.

And after a special prayer, Kendall Koens gave one final message of forgiveness.

"She would want the message of grace and forgiveness to the driver communicated as well," Koens said about his sister. “We would want the driver to know that we understand that Friday was the worst day of her life, as well, and we can't imagine what she's going through and just the guilt and weight that's on her shoulders. We would like her to know that we love her, and that God's grace is offered to her just as it's offered to us, and that we forgive her."

Sending a message that in life or in death, anyone can show amazing grace.

Kari Koens donated her kidneys, a lung and her liver. If you'd like to find out more about how to become an organ donor, we've posted a link on our website to Donate Life America. You can find that under Featured Links.


Elise Romas

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