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'I probably would not be here': Woman thanks organ donor's family

Washington's organ donors saved an estimated 500 lives in 2017.

Calling them “Washington’s heroes,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee honored the 120 Washington residents who donated their organs after passing away in 2017.

Their donated organs saved an estimated 500 lives.

“You are part of that miracle,” said Inslee (D-Washington) to a room full of loved ones of the donors.

The Gift of Life recognition was part of Donate Life Month.

“To know that people are breathing, walking, talking, and moving and still alive, it’s because of my brother? I couldn’t ask for anything other than that,” said Ana Espinoza.

Ana's 21-year-old brother, Antonio, died suddenly last year from a brain aneurysm.

The family decided to donate his two kidneys, liver, and lungs to patients on the organ donor waiting list. Four lives may have been saved.

“I probably would not be here,” said Joyce Baker, the recipient of Antonio Espinoza’s two lungs.

A year ago she was unable to breathe without an oxygen tank and had trouble walking very far.

Now she’s breathing on her own and going on long hikes. She’s also developed an appetite for two of Antonio’s favorites, spicy food and tequila.

“I want to yell to the world, ‘Please register to be a donor!’” said Baker.

For more information about organ donation, go to www.lcnw.org.