Mother of five lives on through organ donation

Flags were raised at Sanford Health for 31-year-old Carissa Odegaard Friday night.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 9:05 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Grand Forks woman is being honored, as she gives the gift of life, days after police say she was brutally murdered by her ex-husband in the Northern Valley.

The “Donate Life” flag was raised at 8 p.m. at the new Sanford Hospital in Fargo for mother of five, Carissa Odegaard.

The 31-year-old’s family and loved ones said goodbye, as doctors and nurses filled the halls, on a final donor walk throughout the hospital. They then gathered outside to watch the flag go up into the sky and hear a message from the Chaplain.

“A flag raising is an important ritual because it signifies, it symbolizes, it’s a celebration of the gift of life,” Sanford Health Chaplain Greg Crosswhite says. “Carissa’s life will enrich other lives.”

The flag will remain for 24 hours, and then be taken down and given to the family. Carissa’s loved ones say she was an extremely giving woman, and that it’s fitting that this is her last deed on earth.