Eddy Vargas
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
His legacy

                          My Final Gift

                 It is now time for me to move on
                 into the dusk, but also the dawn.

                 I will remain as the morning comes,
               as I have left behind a gift for someone.

                 So another may walk, may talk, may see
              where something in their life was locked,
                 I offered them a key.

                 I am a donor, giving to someone in need,
                 My final gift, my final deed. 


(Article from the local newspaper)

A Special Young Man
Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times

Jorge Medrano never met Eddy Vargas, but he carefully keeps a black-and-white photocopy of a picture of the slain 16-year-old he credits with saving his life.

Vargas, a 6-foot-3-inch El Paso High School basketball player, died July 20 from injuries suffered when he was beaten by gang members in Juárez. There have been no arrests in the case, his mother said Friday.

Four of Vargas' organs -- his heart, liver and two kidneys -- were donated and saved the lives of four Texans, including Medrano of Central El Paso.

"I'm very grateful. I know there had to be a loss of life in order for myself and others to receive the gift of life," said Medrano, a music lover with an easygoing demeanor whose health has dramatically improved since a July 21 kidney transplant.

Medrano, 42, a diabetic who is 5 feet 3 inches tall, had been waiting on a transplant list since November, and had ballooned to 170 pounds with excess liquid.

"I felt that I would probably end up dying waiting for a kidney," Medrano said. "It was truly a miracle to get the call. I had been very sick that week. For them to call me -- I thought I was dreaming."

Since the surgery, Medrano has lost about 30 pounds, has a soaring energy level and feels "1,000 percent better," he said.

Virginia O'Quinn, a 56-year-old grandmother and former El Pasoan now living in London, Texas, is equally grateful for receiving Vargas' other kidney.

"It is just a miracle," said O'Quinn, who is now able to go inner-tubing with her grandchildren on the Llano River near her Central Texas home.

Vargas "really is a special young man, I think."

Pam Silvestri, spokeswoman for the Southwest Transplant Alliance, said Vargas also saved the lives of a 16-year-old North Texas boy, who received his liver, and a 33-year-old woman, who received his heart. Those recipients could not be reached for comment.

Nationally, about 90,000 people are waiting for organ transplants.

Vargas told his family he wished to be an organ donor while watching the Denzel Washington movie "John Q" about a father desperate to help his son in need of a heart transplant, his parents said.

"I always thought that it was like a small joy in the middle of all this pain," Eddy's mother, Cristina Vargas, said about the organ donation. "It's very beautiful. This was something (Eddy) always wanted. He was the type of person to help all the people that he could."
For information about how to become an organ or tissue donor, call the Southwest Transplant Alliance at (800) 788-8058, or visit www.organ.org 


We are blessing to knowing Mr. Medrano (kidney's recipient) and his family, We are here with them. Jorge's mom, Jorge, his wife Esther,  my husband and behind is me. 

(Article from the local newspaper)

'Something beautiful'
Donor's family, recipient of teen's heart meet

By Adriana M. Chavez / El Paso Times

Allen, 35, was suffering from cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart, and was in a Dallas area hospital awaiting surgery for a pacemaker when doctors told her she wasn't going to get one.

"I wanted to know why I wasn't going to get my pacemaker, and they told me I was getting a new heart," said Allen, who was first told she would need a heart transplant in 2000.

Allen later learned her new heart had come from 16-year-old Eddy Vargas, an El Paso High School basketball standout who suffered a fatal head injury when he was beaten by gang members in Juarez.

Four of Vargas' organs -- including his heart, liver and two kidneys -- were donated to four Texans, including Jorge Medrano of Central El Paso.

On Saturday afternoon, Allen and Vargas' family met for the first time at El Paso International Airport, a meeting filled with tears and emotion. The two families will also take part in Southwest Transplant Alliance's annual Donor Family Recognition Ceremony at 2 p.m. today at the Vista Hills Country Club.

Before Eddy Vargas' parents, Cristina and Juan Manuel Vargas, and his sister, Brenda, met Allen and her daughter, Angelica, they were nervous but anxious to meet the Allens.

"I'm so happy that in the middle of something so ugly came something so beautiful that has helped another person," Cristina Vargas said.

The Vargas family said Eddy Vargas always liked to help others and would have been happy to see that his organs have saved the lives of four people. It was his wish to become an organ donor.

"I think he's happy right now to see us all here," Cristina Vargas said.

As soon as Allen and her daughter came down the airport escalators, the Vargas family anxiously hugged one another, then walked up to Allen, who was clutching a bouquet for the family.

Cristina Vargas and Allen immediately embraced and broke into tears in front of dozens of airport visitors who had gathered around them, many of them wiping tears from their eyes.

Because Cristina and Juan Manuel Vargas don't speak English and Allen doesn't speak Spanish, Allen said she hoped her gratefulness showed in her emotion.

"From the bottom of my heart, I love you," she told the Vargases.

After a few minutes of embracing and consoling each other, the Vargas family gave Allen a gift -- a framed picture of Eddy Vargas and a T-shirt printed with his name, photo and the words "In Loving Memory."

"I didn't know what to say, but it all came out," Allen said.

Representatives from the Southwest Transplant Alliance said they were glad the two families were able to come together.

"Eddy had a heart of gold," said Victoria Armendariz, regional client services coordinator for Southwest Transplant Alliance, who helped arrange the meeting.

Southwest Airlines provided Allen and her daughter with the plane tickets to El Paso.

"We consider a family like the Vargases to be heroes. They were willing to turn the situation around and give to others. The world should take a lesson," Armendariz said.

Allen said that her body initially started to reject the heart but that after treatment, Eddy Vargas' donated heart beats as it should.

She said that she learned about what happened to Eddy in an e-mail sent to her by a transplant association representative and that she cried for hours.

"It was tragic what happened. I cried for a long time," Allen said as her soft voice broke with emotion and tears filled her eyes. "I would tell him thank you and that I'm sorry for what happened to you, and I would want him to know that his heart is inside of me and I'm going to save our heart for as long as I can." 

We are here, when we meet LaShuandra (Heart's recipient).
My daughter Brenda, LaShuandra, Me and my husband.
You can see behind us my son's basketball jersey, we received it in his memory from the team.
Saddly LaShuandra passed away in January 3, 2007, this broke our hearts again, but we know she went to heaven to meet Eddy and to say how much he is loved and missed for his family....



Virginia O'Quinn, a 56-year-old grandmother and former El Pasoan now living in London, Texas, is equally grateful for receiving Vargas' other kidney.

"It is just a miracle," said O'Quinn, who is now able to go inner-tubing with her grandchildren on the Llano River near her Central Texas home.

Vargas "really is a special young man, I think." 

We don't have the pleasure to know personality Virginia, but we are in touch.




Angel Moms

    We have shared our tears and our sorrow,
    We have given encouragement to each other,
    Given hope for a brighter tomorrow, 
    We share the title of grieving mother.

    Some of us lost older daughters or sons, 
    Who we watched grow over the years,
    Some have lost their babies before their lives begun,
    But no matter the age , we cry the same tears.

    We understand each others pain,
    The bond we share is very strong,
    With each other there is no need to explain,
    The path we walk is hard and long.

    Our children brought us together,
    They didn't want us on this journey alone,
    They knew we needed each other, 
    To survive the pain of them being gone.

    So take my hand my friend,
    We may stumble and fall along the way,
    But we'll get up and try again,
    Because together we can make it day by day.

    We can give each other hope,
    We'll create a place where we belong,
    Together we will find ways to cope, 
    Because we are Angel Moms and together we are strong! 

    Judi Walker 
    (Shane's Mom)
    Copyright Dec. 28, 1999
    Dedicated to all moms who have lost a child. 









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