Donor Family Stories

Josie Williquette

When 3-year-old Josephine “Josie” Williquette died, she left behind her loving parents, Scott and Christine, and twin sister McKenzie. She also left a special gift for two other children—her heart valves.

Following an acute asthma attack on Christmas Day 2008, Josie died at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wis. Despite their grief, the Williquettes agreed to donate their little girl’s heart valves after learning about tissue donation from Brown County Medical Examiner Al Klimek.

Donated heart valves are used to replace those weakened by disease or congenital defects. Josie’s valves went to two boys, one 3½ months and the other 15 months old. According to the Williquettes, “We loved to hear that everything turned out OK. Our loss has made somebody else’s joy.”

Before Josie’s death, the family had not been familiar with tissue donation. But Scott and Christine say Josie would have been happy that she could help others through her extraordinary gift. “She was very loving and caring. She always wanted to help everyone and make everything better.”

The family has shared their donation story with family, friends and coworkers, and hopes their positive experience will encourage others to consider making the commitment to donate.