Kayla Kutz, 42 of Pittsburg, was raised believing in the importance of organ donation. Her own mom, Becky Rogers, received a liver transplant 2005.
A few weeks ago Kayla passed away.
"I'll definitely miss her cooking," says Kayla's son, Koy. "She was an amazing cook."
"She was an orthodontics assistant - most of my friends that are in high school have braces," says Kayla's daughter, Loren. "Everyone would come back and tell me she was the best person they've ever met."
All of Kayla's organs were donated.
Kayla Kutz suffered a stroke from high blood pressure in August and was bound to a wheelchair.
"I slept here on the couch and I had a flashlight, and I would shine it in and watch her just to make sure she wasn't doing anything or getting too close to the edge of the bed," says Becky.
Kayla never recovered.
"She was right at the bathroom door, in her wheelchair, when she seemed to lose consciousness," says Becky.
About two weeks ago, after being flown to KU Medical Center doctors determined Kayla was brain dead.
"I really couldn't accept that fact," Becky says.
"It was almost immediately after my mom passed that we were talking to the organ donator coordinator," says Kayla's son, Koy.
"When that phone rang, 12:30 at night, my first thought is my kids," says Tom Laidler. "I stumble over that phone and I pick up that phone, and I hear this angel on the other side saying 'Tom this is KU, the coordinator with the transplant, we have something for your wife."
Tom's wife, Debbie, had been suffering from sclerosis and cancer in the liver.
"As long as I've known my mom, she's always putting other people first - she's always thinking of herself last," says Matt Laidler, Tom and Debbie's son.
"She's very caring, a loving person and she would do anything for anyone," says Katie Laidler, Tom and Debbie's daughter, and Koy Kutz's girlfriend.
"I would always just talk to him about my mom being sick and I would apologize - 'I'm so sorry' - feel like I'm always just griping about my mom," says Katie.
"I was grieving for them, just knowing what those kids were going through," Debbie says of Kayla's death.
Koy Kutz talked with his family and decided to donate his mom's liver to Debbie Laidler.
Doctors at KU Medical Center say the transplant surgery was quick - under two hours. Debbie's recovery was also fast. She was sent home within five days after surgery.
But Debbie still has to gain enough strength to meet Kayla's family.
"I feel so terrible that their mother is gone and I'm living right now," says Debbie. "But yet, my daughter tells me they find great comfort in that."
"My mom has a chance to give somebody a second life," says Koy.
"This is what gives me comfort, is that she would be so pleased, knowing, and I really think she does know, how many lives she is going to save with this," says Becky Rogers, Kayla's mom.
Debbie lives, giving back the gift of gratefulness.
"I would like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing this, and I will live my life to the fullest for Kayla," Debbie says.
Wednesday, June 12 2013 6:08 PM EDT2013-06-12 22:08:49 GMT
The Jasper County Sheriff's Office is seeing how a new community policing project will turn out. Deputies are going door to door in rural areas asking people if they have any concerns about safety. TheMore >>
The Jasper County Sheriff's Office testing out a new policy, focusing on a section east of Joplin and Duenweg that is about 28 square miles but only has 230 residents. Detectives say this target zone has a high number of burglaries and thefts. They hope to prevent crime and build relationships with these rural residents.More >>
Tuesday, June 11 2013 5:53 PM EDT2013-06-11 21:53:56 GMT
Some residents in Duquesne, Missouri have been meeting with city officials there over concerns of a new housing project. The new apartment complex will be for the elderly, handicapped, and those on fixedMore >>
The project is called Katherine Estates. It's on Katherine Road in Duquesne near 20th Street. It involves about four acres of land.More >>
Monday, June 10 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-06-10 22:10:34 GMT
The FEMA mobile homes brought to Joplin shortly after the 2011 tornado are now empty. FEMA says at the peak of disaster response in Joplin there were 586 families living in the mobile homes. The originalMore >>
FEMA says at the peak of disaster response in Joplin there were 586 families living in the mobile homes. The original deadline for people to move out of the mobile homes was in November 2012 but FEMA pushed the deadline to June 9, 2013.More >>
Friday, June 7 2013 6:29 PM EDT2013-06-07 22:29:42 GMT
Former inmates in Missouri could soon have their revenues taken away to pay for jail time. The bill has passed the House and Senate and now need only the governor's signature. "Is only fair that theyMore >>
Former inmates in Missouri could soon have their revenues taken away to pay for jail time. The bill has passed the House and Senate and now need only the governor's signature. It costs $34 a day to house a prisoner in Jasper County's jail. That bill includes food, possible medication, and utility service.More >>
Friday, June 7 2013 11:24 AM EDT2013-06-07 15:24:42 GMT
A decision not to sound the outdoor storm sirens during last Friday's storm has the City of Carl Junction making changes. On Tuesday, the city council made some procedural changes and a special meetingMore >>
After receiving complaints from citizens regarding the storm siren policy in place, city council voted to make changes to the policy, but the emergency manager disagreed with those changes. Following a special meeting Thursday, the Carl Junction mayor says despite Bill Dunn's recent comments, he will continue as the emergency manager.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:54 PM EDT2013-06-19 02:54:11 GMT
Mayor John Sellers has issued a boil advisory for Anderson, MO. An electrical substation problem caused a decrease in water pressure. Until the water is tested, it is advised to boil water for at leastMore >>
Authorities make an arrest in connection with Thursday's murder in northeast Oklahoma. Thursday afternoon Ottawa County authorities discovered the body of a 21-year-old California woman lying in the middleMore >>
An Oklahoma state investigator takes the stand in the case a man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in Ottawa County. Dustin Boggs is charged with first degree murder in the death of Danyel Borden, 21 of California.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:28 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:28:59 GMT
News release from Missouri Southern State University: JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - Adults and children from the Joplin area will have their chance to make the Guinness World Records next Tuesday, June 18 at MissouriMore >>
On Tuesday at 10 a.m. Joplin participants along with a number of other cities around the world took part in an effort to break a world record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:17 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:17:23 GMT
Joplin city officials and the Environmental Protection Agency are hoping to turn one of Joplin's busiest throughways's into a safe, green area. "Essentially, what we want to do is kick off a conversationMore >>
Joplin city officials and the Environmental Protection Agency are hoping to turn one of Joplin's busiest throughways's into a safe, green area. "What we want to do is kick off a conversation in Joplin - how do people want 20th Street to look?"More >>
News release from Missouri Southern State University: JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - Dr. Sherry Buchanan, chair of the Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University, announced today Dr. Bruce Speck isMore >>
The MSSU Board of Governors have scheduled a closed meeting for Wednesday at 4 p.m. On Thursday the Board of Governors will have an open meeting at 4 p.m. on the MSSU campus.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:18 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:18:34 GMT
The City of Pittsburg holds a job fair after Via Christi laid of hundreds of people statewide earlier this month. Via Christi cut 28 jobs in Pittsburg and the city says it was a large driving factor behindMore >>
The City of Pittsburg holds a job fair after Via Christi laid of hundreds of people statewide earlier this month. Via Christi cut 28 jobs in Pittsburg and the city says it was a large driving factor behind setting up a job fair to keep those workers and others employed in Crawford County.More >>