Family of Bridget Allison Pier encourages organ donations

By Gary Alan Ruse….

Bridget Allison Pier is pictured on June 25, 2010, preparing to be the maid of honor for Steven and Meighan Alexander’s wedding.

Family members of Bridget Allison Pier (Alexander) are struggling to cope with the unexpected and tragic loss of the sprightly 7- year-old, but are finding comfort in the positive ways she touched the lives of others.

The daughter of Palmetto Bay village clerk Meighan Pier Alexander and Brian Pier, Bridget was vacationing with her mother and Cutler Bay town manager Steven Alexander, who were married about a year ago, and her 10- year-old brother Brent in Hawaii. On June 29, after enjoying a day of family surfing, Bridget suffered a massive stroke. She passed away on July 3.

Because of her kind and caring nature and desire to help others, it was decided that her organs would be donated. Her mother thought it seemed appropriate for the vivacious young girl who was such a ray of sunshine to everyone around her.

“I’d also like people to know what a very happy life she lived,” Meighan Alexander said. “She was always smiling and laughing. I also think people should take her example and be friendly and nice to others. Bridget could not stand for anyone to be mean.”

Her family is requesting that people wishing to honor Bridget’s memory make a donation to the Kapiolani Medical Center for Children in Honolulu.

“The staff at the Kapiolani Medical Center was outstanding —loving, kind, and comforting,” Meighan Alexander said. “I can’t say enough about the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurses and doctors. Each of them embraced us as if we were family. Additionally, we’d like to encourage donations for the Ronald McDonald Family House. I was stunned when the hospital informed us that there was lodging available for out-of-state families of ill children. The house was wonderful, a very welcoming family environment.

“There are some families that are facing weeks of care for their children, and the cost of lodging in a hotel could very well bankrupt them. To have this lodging available is a godsend and people should do all they can to help support it.”

Bridget’s father, Brian Pier, remembers how special she was, and how much she meant to everyone.

“The main thing about Bridget is how easy she let things roll off her back and how bubbly and moving on to the next thing she was,” Pier said. “She loved her friends, she loved being with her family. She has about 20 something first cousins. She loved them and loved being around them.”

He recalls countless family trips to Walt Disney World and to favorite places in North Carolina. And he remembers her sweet, loving nature.

“She would go out in the yard and pick flowers, and, unsolicited, come up to you and give you a flower and tell you how much she loved you, and give you a hug,” Pier said. “To have her doing that on a daily basis was special.

“It wasn’t only me, her father or mother, she would come in with flowers she was going to take to her teacher, or her aunt or her best friend. She loved making pictures, and there would always be a heart and an ‘I love you’on the picture. I think she touched a lot of people and a lot of people are having a hard time right now. I just like people to remember her for how she was.”

The memorial service for her central Florida family was on Sunday, July 24. Coral Reef Elementary School, where Bridget was a student, reportedly is working on a memorial for the school’s butterfly garden.

Bridget’s mother said she deeply appreciates the kindness of so many in the community who have reached out to express their sympathy and concern to her family.

“We are touched and overwhelmed with the support and love we’ve received,” Meighan said. “People have asked us what they can do for us. My answer is: consider being an organ donor. You can save a life. It is an awesome gift.”

For more information on the children’s hospital visit online at www.kapiolani.org. For more on Ronald McDonald Family House visit http://rmhc.org/.


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