TAMPA — Somewhere in anonymity this week, an organ donor died. But not without gifts for those left behind.
Demetra Bell Jones, daughter of a police detective killed in the line of duty 16 years ago, emerged from four hours of surgery Wednesday afternoon with a freshly transplanted liver to replace one ravaged by disease.
"Docs just updated. She's out of surgery and on her way to a new life. Thank God!" her uncle, Jeff Bell, texted a news reporter, adding, "Lots of tears of joy here in the waiting room."
The procedure took place at Florida Hospital Transplant Institute in Orlando.
Jones, 39, suffered from autoimmune hepatitis. The Tampa Bay area participated in fund-raising efforts earlier this year that brought in about $100,000 toward the cost of surgery.
Her father, Randy Bell, was one of three law enforcement officers killed on May 19, 1998, after prisoner Hank Earl Carr used a hidden key to unlock his handcuffs.
Patty Ryan can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3382.