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The State : His Heart Beats On for Girl

January 06, 1987

A year after Felipe Garza predicted his own death and asked that his heart be donated to a dying girl whom he admired, the transplanted organ sill beats within Donna Ashlock. "I manage not to think about him much because it is so sad," Donna said. "His face keeps popping up in my mind, though. It hurts to think about it." Doctors said Donna, 15, of Patterson in Stanislaus County, was a few weeks from death with cardiomyopathy when Garza's mother read him a story about Donna's illness in a local newspaper. "I remember his voice in the next room sounding surprised," his mother recalled. "Then he said, 'I'm going to die, and I'm going to give my heart to Donna.' He was serious, and it made me nervous. I told him to shut up." A few days later, Garza, who was also 15 and a friend of Donna, was dead of a cerebral hemorrhage, and she was given his heart.

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