It was on every one of her softball jerseys: The number five. Even in her final moments, that number stood out. Family members said the high school player involved in a car crash earlier this week, 17-year-old Madison Higgins, gave five incredible gifts before she died.
"Maddi was a giver. She had chosen to be an organ donor. They were able to harvest her heart, her lungs, her kidneys, her liver as well as her eyes," Maddi's grandmother, Linda Flores said. "Those parts of Maddi live on."
The teen was killed earlier this week.
Police say Higgins was in a car driven by her boyfriend, 18-year-old Hayden Soyk. Witnesses watched the car hit a power pole on Sunday in rural Clackamas County. The crash split the car in two.
Soyk died at the scene. Higgins was life-flighted and later died at the hospital, but not before making five life-saving donations.
Flores said she lives on in so many other ways too. Memories of the standout softball player fill the teen's house.
Her grandmother said the community support has been incredible.
In the meantime, investigators are still looking for answers as to what caused the crash. They have said early on that speed may be to blame.
Flores said that's a hard reality the family is dealing with.
"This tragedy is something you see happen to other people. It usually doesn't happen in your world."
But, she said, whatever the investigation brings the family will move on with the hope that other teens can learn from their tragedy.
"Be careful with the choices you're making. Be careful before you make the kind of choices that could have these outcomes," Flores said.
The memorial service for Higgins will be held on Saturday, June 14.
There has been a scholarship fund established, the Maddi Higgins Memorial Scholarship Fund. It will be awarded every year to a deserving athlete, selected by the NW Youth Sports Association.
Donations can be made at www.nwbatbusters.com or sent directly to 7128 SW Gonzaga St., Suite 100, Portland, OR, 97223.
Donations can also be made to two accounts at any Chase Bank, in person, by mail or by PayPal at email@example.com. They will go to the softball scholarship fund or the "Maddi Higgins Family Donation Account," to assist Maddi's mother and sisters with final expenses and grief counseling.
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