In life, we tend to run with the crowd with whom we have most in common.That’s true from the time little kids find the same interests in Chutes ‘n’ Ladders, all the way up to old age playing bingo. Those crowds do change over time. We may lose interest in people who did not parent when we did, who moved away, etc.

In high school, my crowd was those I saw every afternoon at band practice. I lost touch with them until recently. I sat in the flute section. I can still picture that black-haired clarinetist across from me — a young girl like me, never imagining her as a mother and facing such a challenge as she has. She raised two incredible daughters, now mothers themselves.

Last week, after many long months on a liver donor list and having two prior match rejections, Phyllis’ eldest daughter — who has a rare disease that attacked her liver — received the urgent notice of another potential donor.

This donor matched and the daughter bravely faced surgery in a Nashville hospital knowing she may never wake up. Thankfully, the surgery succeeded and after only three days in the hospital, the young mother was able to make a quick visit to surprise her daughter at her fourth birthday party.

The family does not know the donor but suspects it is one of the state troopers killed in Pennsylvania last week since one of their livers was sent to Tennessee.

I want to say much more about Phyllis’ daughter, her courage, intelligence, faith, and inspiration to me and hundreds more. I hope someday the gifter’s family may view the video I saw of the little girl’s stunned face on seeing her Mom. And when this 20-plus-year-old opened her eyes after surgery, she asked, “I’m alive?”

Becky Clark, Editor