Last act of kindness was as an organ donor
It's not easy building a legacy, let alone leaving one, by age 23.
Sarah Kasunic, formerly of Jefferson Township, died Saturday as a result of a car accident in Knoxville, Tenn., where she was working as a traveling nurse.
Martina Holland, a nurse manager at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, said many in the field have reached out about Sarah.
She said Sarah's strength helped guide her through even the toughest challenges, and she was a talented nurse with even greater potential.
“Whatever I had, she took it. She took care of her patients as if they were her own family,” Holland said. “I've been in management for a long time. I've been at this unit for two years. Out of all the travelers we have, she's probably been the biggest blessing.”
Nicholas Kasunic, Sarah's oldest brother, said his sister was kind and giving outside hospital walls, too. He said her last act of kindness, her last gift, was as an organ donor. He said the family unanimously agreed to her wish to give life to others.
“It was a very challenging decision to make, but we would encourage people to do that and to have the courage to do that,” he said.
Tom Kasunic, Sarah's father, said the donation was especially hard for him.
“I wanted to be there when she took her last breath, and you can't do that with an organ transplant. It was very hard to give that away,” Tom Kasunic said. “They told us 10 or 11 people would benefit from this. Her heart is now in a 10-year-old-girl from Michigan.”
Tom Kasunic said his daughter also thought of people's futures beyond a medical nature. About a month ago, he said, Sarah told him she had set up a fund that would help Butler County Community College's Phi Theta Kappa, a fraternity of which she was once president, so members could attend the national convention.
He said she also was starting a scholarship fund that would help BC3 nursing students with financial needs. He said the family plans to follow through with what she started.
“So many people told us that she changed their lives,” Tom Kasunic said. “Some people referred to her as an angel.”
Read the rest of the story, along with Sarah Kasunic's obituary, in Wednesday's print edition of the Butler Eagle.