8-Month Pregnant Widow Donates Husband’s Face

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There could hardly be a more All-American teenage love story: Lillian and Rudy Ross met in a Minnesota high school shop class, and their first kiss was in a Hardee’s parking lot. They were high school sweethearts destined to become the parents of an adorable, chubby-cheeked infant – but no one could have guessed, when their romance commenced, that they would also give the gift of life to half a dozen other people, including the recipient of an incredibly rare face transplant, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.

Lillian was forced to make the heart-wrenching decision following Rudy’s death in June 2016, when she was eight months pregnant. Now, as their son Leonard gurgles happily across the table in the care of his grandmother, she recounts the day their lives changed – and she saved multiple others.

Even in her grief and shock, she was committed to following Rudy’s wishes for organ donation – and, most importantly, she was doing it for the baby son she would soon welcome into this world.

‘I just wanted to show him, later, down the road, all the people his dad saved,’ she says.
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