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Mother killed in northeast crash gives gift of life to 5 other people

“My daughter saved people’s lives that she didn’t even know that she saved."

Mother killed in northeast crash gives gift of life to others
Posted at 7:33 AM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 17:15:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis woman urging others to become an organ donor after her daughter’s life has now been used to save others.

“I talked to her multiple times a day – she would call me every morning between 6 and 6:15,” Denise Gatling said.

Kiana Burns was a 28-year-old mother of four – and her mom – Denise Gatling’s best friend.

Kiana’s life was tragically cut short more than a week ago after she was involved in a chain-reaction crash last Thursday at East 52nd Street and North Keystone Avenue.

"The fact that I know that everybody else in that crash is alive and the five people she saved through organ donation, it makes it a little easier,” Gatling added.

Denise made the choice to donate Kiana’s organs.

“My daughter saved people’s lives that she didn’t even know that she saved,” Gatling said.

Now Denise won’t ever go a day without having her daughter by her side. She has her daughter’s heartbeat recorded inside a teddy bear that she got with the help of the Indiana Donor Network and IU Health Methodist Hospital.

“I sleep with her heartbeat bear every night just like her kids,” Gatling added.

Denise says she wants others to know the importance of becoming an organ donor.

“There is currently over 106,000 people waiting nationwide for life-saving organ transplant and over a 1,000 people in Indiana,” Indiana Donor Network CEO Kellie Tremain said.

Tremain said the network may transplant more organs than they had in any other month.

“Being able to help one more person – it’s just a great feeling that really has such a great cause,” CEO, Kellie Tremain concluded.

If you are interested in becoming an organ donor, click here.

On Friday, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office announced a woman is facing several charges in connection with the crash.

Kelli Anderson is charged with reckless homicide and six counts of criminal recklessness, according to a press release from the prosecutor's office.

“When drivers fail to the meet their responsibilities on the road, it can result in devastating consequences,” Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in the release. “Because of this incident, four young children have lost their mother.”

A GoFundMe has been created to help Denise and Kiana.