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Harlem gunshot victim's organ donations help 6 children

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In the mind of her mother, Eleanor “Ellè” Kelly is not gone.

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Cynthia Lowe, the mother of Eleanor "Ellè" Kelly, the 13-year-old girl who was killed by an accidental gunshot last week, looks at some of her daughter's anime artwork. Lowe followed her daughter's wishes and donated her organs to six other children.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Cynthia Lowe, the mother of Eleanor "Ellè" Kelly, the 13-year-old girl who was killed by an accidental gunshot last week, looks at some of her daughter's anime artwork. Lowe followed her daughter's wishes and donated her organs to six other children.

“There are some spirits that just won’t go away, and hers is one of them,” Cynthia Lowe said Tuesday. The Harlem girl who had just turned 13 was shot in the face Thursday. On Sunday, her mother donated her organs to six other children.

“I know that’s what Ellè would want,” her mother said. “That’s what Ellè would demand.”

Zach Provance, 14, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting, which the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office ruled accidental.

It was the fatal shooting of another Harlem girl, 14-year-old Alana May Calahan, more than a year ago that prompted Ellè to talk to her mother about organ donation.

“She said that if anything ever happened she would want someone else to live on, because there would be no reason burying something that another child could use,” Lowe said. “It was just something she cared a lot about. It was something she believed in.”

Ellè was a bright, outgoing girl who loved art and music and loved to play the drums, her mother said. She loved Japanese anime and Japanese culture and was learning to speak the language.

“She was bound and determined to move to Japan and become a graphic designer,” her mother said. “She just loved the culture.”

She was the youngest of triplets and was close with her brothers, Daniel and Jarrod, Lowe said. They could often be found playing video games or running around with friends, she said. She was girlish enough to have My Little Pony stuff in her bedroom but grown-up enough to decide to cut her own hair and dye it without mom’s permission.

“She’s just now starting to blossom and become a young lady,” her mother said.

Lowe was at work Thurs­day at Hill Drug Co. in Augusta when she got the call “telling me that my daughter had been shot in the head,” she said, choking back a sob, “and they were airlifting her.”

At Medical College of Georgia Children’s Medical Center, she was told her daughter was alive, but the brain damage was extensive.

“There was no surgery they could do to help her because her brain was swelling so fast,” Lowe said. There were more tests and more scans as the hours passed.

“Every time they did a scan, that would give me hope that she would wake up,” Lowe said as tears welled in her eyes. “But that wasn’t meant to be.”

She told the doctors her daughter wanted to be an organ donor, and they quickly found matches for her lungs, liver and pancreas. Her kidneys went to two different children, but it was a struggle to find a good match for the heart. A recipient was finally located over the weekend, and the surgery performed Sunday morning.

It is some comfort to Lowe to know those organs might be saving a child’s life and relieving the worst fears of another parent.

“I’m hoping and praying it does, especially them being children,” she said. “They still have a whole life ahead of them. And I feel like part of her is going to continue to live.”

SERVICE SET

Memorial services for Eleanor Grace “Ellè” Kelly will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Harlem United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Eleanor Kelly Fund at First Bank of Georgia, 2805 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, GA 30904.

FOR MORE information about organ donation, go to LifeLink Foundation’s Web site at www.lifelinkfound.org/organdonation.

Comments (11) Add comment
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Retired Army
17512
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Retired Army 04/04/12 - 12:22 am
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May God Bless and comfort

May God Bless and comfort this family now and forever. Such a selfless act at such a tragic time is truly the mark of wonderful folks. Thank You.

Just My Opinion
5858
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Just My Opinion 04/04/12 - 04:51 am
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Wow! Thank you so much to

Wow! Thank you so much to Elle and to her sweet mother! This is obviously such a horrible ordeal to go through, yet the wonderful decision was made to help others to LIVE! I've never been through something like this...and I hope to God that I won't...but I can only imagine that donating organs to others in need would help the grief.

meginlea
36
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meginlea 04/04/12 - 08:00 am
5
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I praise God for the selfless

I praise God for the selfless strength this family was able to possess during this time. It has most certainly been grace rising from the ashes of a great loss.

sugarbutton
994
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sugarbutton 04/04/12 - 08:09 am
4
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Awesome love and family

Awesome love and family strength that helped this family follow Elle's wishes. In an effort to get through their sadness they helped six others. Amen! God Bless the daughter who made such selfless decisions.

ripjones256
-1
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ripjones256 04/04/12 - 08:24 am
0
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What a blessed thing to do.
Unpublished

What a blessed thing to do. Yes, Elle will live on, through the lives of the six other children SHE saved. May the family find peace through this amazing gift they have given to six families.

Cynical old woman
1111
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Cynical old woman 04/04/12 - 09:09 am
4
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May this loving mother feel

May this loving mother feel the strength of our Lord and Savior as the days ahead will surely be difficult.

deadline
0
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deadline 04/04/12 - 09:58 am
3
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Amazing

Amazing

BamaMan
2491
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BamaMan 04/04/12 - 10:50 am
3
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Such a horrible thing for a

Such a horrible thing for a family to go through, but speaking of our family having a donor recipient, it is a wonderful and giving thing that they are able to donate organs to help others live! The donor goes on "living" in essence, and can still be with us. My prayers to the family, and my thanks for your love and concern for other families.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 04/04/12 - 12:53 pm
2
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What an amazing young woman,

What an amazing young woman, I know her family is proud to have had such a wonderful daughter. God Bless them.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 04/04/12 - 05:13 pm
1
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Making Good out of Evil.

Making Good out of Evil.

nevertoolate
291
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nevertoolate 04/04/12 - 09:34 pm
2
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Thank you from my whole heart

Thank you from my whole heart for the wonderful gift of life you have so generously given. You thought of others during what was assuredly one of the most difficult moments in your life. No matter what the donor wishes, the next of kin must always consent for the donation to occur. My sister received a liver from a 19 year old donor in December of 2010. It has been a little over a year now, and her donor gave back a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, a niece, an aunt, a great aunt, a granddaughter and an exceptional nurse back to this world. My sister is all of these things...only because of a very generous, unselfish act by a young lady who lost her life tragically, and her family who, in their time of grief, thought of others. Thank you again. You have done more for so many people than you probably imagine...

cytoranger
6
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cytoranger 04/04/12 - 10:54 pm
1
0
Such kindness, generosity,

Such kindness, generosity, and selfless love for your fellow man is truly the personification of a angel of God. Such an amazing example of strenght and love shown by this family so close to the celebration of Christ's resurrection. May God strengthen you in this time of sorrow and wipe the pain from your brow as you have done for 6 children and their families. We lost a child in our family 4 years ago, my wife , daughter, son in law, all of us continue to have those moments of emptyness but know he is with God , waiting for us. Bless you and yours now and forever

Tishy
0
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Tishy 04/04/12 - 11:47 pm
0
0
It's been an honor to have

It's been an honor to have known this child.

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