Dead Cop Killer's Donated Organs Can Be Lifesavers - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Dead Cop Killer's Donated Organs Can Be Lifesavers

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(WLNS) - Eric Knysz, the man who killed Michigan State Police trooper Paul Butterfield last year, died Thursday afternoon.

His family decided to follow Knysz's wishes to donate his organs.

This has sparked discussion about receiving organs from a convicted murderer.

And as you can imagine, there are lots of opinions about it.

6 News reporter Sharon Yoo talked to a double lung transplant recipient who gives her take on the organs that saved her life.

In August Sandi Shults will celebrate her 5th year of breathing easy.

She is a double-lung transplant recipient but she says it's more than just a process of receiving organs.

It's about creating a relationship with the family of the organ donor.

Sandi said, "To be able to at least write them a letter and feel that compassion they felt for their special someone is good."

Although Sandi can't communicate with the donor's family as much as she would like she says she's grateful to have more time to spend with her family.

"She gave me a lot. She gave me the gift of life," adds Shults.

As an organ transplant advocate she also emphasized that whether they're from a sinner or a saint where the organs come from is besides the point of a transplant.

"As long as it works, it doesn't matter. As long as it has the strength to give somebody as a new life it's an organ," Shults said.

MSU bioethics professor Ann Mongoven adds, "Receiving an organ from anybody is psychologically heavy. And recognizing that is important to supporting recipients. It's great for having your health revitalized but it's psychological burdens of that as well."

But the burden hasn't stopped Sandi from appreciating life and doing what makes her happy: painting.

She says, "Heaven doesn't need your organs. They're needed here on earth."

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