Organ Recipient Attends Local Graduation - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Organ Recipient Attends Local Graduation

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Seniors all around the valley walked across the stage today to get their diplomas. Gyms were packed with family and friends. At Breckenridge High School the superintendent introduced a special guest visiting from Colorado. He traveled all that way for one student close to his heart.

Graduation is all about starting a new chapter, and as Levi Lyngaas walks across this stage, new beginnings are nothing new for his family.

"I didn't know how I would react to this day, doing this alone, wasn't in the plans," says Jessica Lyngaas, "Just one day at a time."

Lance Lyngaas died of a stoke while four wheeling in 2011. Leaving behind his wife, and their three kids.

"I always knew he wanted to be a donor, so I followed on with his wishes," says Jessica.

"He gave the last gift that anyone could give, he, you know. On June 15th 2011 he gave me his heart, his liver, and his kidney," says Kirk Watson, the man that Lance’s organs saved.

"I could tell an immediate change, and immediate difference from the moment i woke up from the surgery," explains Kirk.

After getting out the hospital Kirk, and his wife Rita met the whole Lyngaas family. They formed a special bond.

"We're proud to be able to come down to this graduation," says Kirk.

Jessica says the family appreciated Kirk and Rita coming to the graduation. "Like Levi said when we first met Kirk and Rita, he said, because they asked Levi, what does this mean to you? And, he said, well I just think this is pretty cool, cause that means my dad is still living, and still going," she explains.

"To show them, hey lance is not just gone, he's still around. And, his decisions and the choices he made, made my life continue on,” says Kirk.

Kirk is giving back by being there for the family, as Levi opens a new chapter in his life.

"We're making good out of a bad situation, and that's what it is, were not making a bad thing ruin the world," Kirk says while Jessica agrees.

Kirk plans on going to all the Lyngass children's graduations. As for Levi, he's going to North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.  

He's also hoping to carry on his father's work on the family farm.
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