Morgan has been a sports enthusiast all her life and graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. In 2014, she was playing intramural sports for her sorority and injured her knee. As a result of her education and training, she also knew of a solution and later that year, Morgan received a tissue transplant to repair her knee. Thanks to the gift of a tissue donor, Morgan regained full mobility.
A few months later a tragic accident claimed the life of Morgan’s fiancé, Blake. His family, together with Morgan, made the decision to donate his organs. Now a donor family member as well as a tissue recipient, Morgan clearly saw both sides of the story of transplantation and felt the emotions a family experiences when a loved becomes an organ and tissue donor. It was because of her experience with donating Blake’s organs; she knew she had to reach out to her donor’s family.
Richie Steel was only 20 years old when an automobile accident took his life. Months before he passed away, he made his decision clear; he wanted to be an organ and tissue donor. Richie’s tissue was used to repair Morgan’s knee and in her letter to his family she expressed gratitude. The two families were able to meet and have formed a special bond. “Richie’s mom, Belinda, told me she wanted to walk with me. So we did just that,” says Morgan, “It’s so cool that out of such a tragic event so many amazing things have happened. I’m now a forever member of Richie’s family.”
Today, Morgan works for The Hughston Foundation as an Athletic Training Fellow as she pursues her Master’s Degree. She is currently assigned to Auburn University Club and Intramural Sports. She has been given many opportunities through this fellowship, including attending the National Athletic Training Convention in Baltimore this past summer.
Morgan’s partner in life, travel buddy and therapist is her lab, Mowgli. She and Blake had always wanted to get a dog together, but sadly were not able to do so before Blake’s death. Mowgli is always there to lick away Morgan’s tears if she is upset, or jump around and celebrate with her when life needs celebrating. Thanks to Richie, and in memory of Blake, Morgan is celebrating life every day.