Parents find peace as their daughter who died from overdose helped others via organ donation

BISBEE, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- A Bisbee family finds peace with the overdose of their daughter, who was able to help four other people by donating her organs.

"That's the type of person she was," said Myra Moreno, mother of Mikaela Moreno. "Thoughtful, generous, and kind. That she thought about everyone else and she did that."

It's that silver lining that has given Jesus and Myra Moreno comfort in the overdose of Mikaela.

"The only thing that helps me keep going is that she helped four people," said Myra. "She was an organ donor. She helped four people."

Mikaela was a beautiful girl, with a smile that would lighten the day of anyone who came across her. For those who knew and loved her, they called her "Paloma", meaning dove, a symbol of peace. Over the years, however, Mikaela began heading down a dark path, distancing herself. Her parents were worried, as she began to make new friends, which is a gift and a curse.

"The issue she had was the friends she kept. Friends she had," said Jesus. "We would tell her, these friends are just using you. They're hindering you, not letting you become the person she was".

Myra says she had no idea her daughter was using hard drugs until she went to live with them two weeks before she died. Her motherly instinct led to a heartbreaking discovery.

"I started looking for things, and I found a needle," said Myra.

Mikaela was then confronted.

"She admitted it was heroin," said Myra. "She said she was going to get out of it, but we didn't realize how deep she was."

The parents begged Mikaela to get help.

"I told her we're going to find help for you, and she was trying to tell me she had problems, but you don't understand how I feel," said Jesus. "I can't seem to get out of it."

Mikaela was 24 when she died.

"It's been devastating," said Myra. "I just never expected my child to experiment with drugs, let alone with heroin."

It was what Mikaela did in her death, however, that has these parents proud of their daughter, despite the circumstances that took her life.

Mikaela was able to donate organs.

"Her heart, pancreas, and kidneys were donated," said Jesus.

Helping those who needed her most, here on Earth.

"We find comfort knowing our daughter continues not just in one person, but in four," said Jesus.

"For that, I'm grateful that she took it upon herself to become an organ donor when she was 18 years old," said Myra. "That was a choice that we didn't have to do when she was brain dead. She did it."

Mikaela's father says if there is anyone out there that thinks they can't get help or wants to get help, there is help out there.

Substance Abuse Resources by the Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family