OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Through one woman's death, another received the gift of life.
The relationship between the Duvernay's and Nancy Lee and her daughter, Jessica, started several years ago.
"The year after Brittany died, Nancy and I exchanged letters," said Ellen Duvernay.
Brittany was the Duvernay's daughter. When she was just 26 years old, she fell off of a golf cart and died from a brain injury.
Brittany was an organ donor. Nancy received her lungs the day after Brittany died.
"About a year after I got my transplant, I got a letter from Ellen. I had been trying to write one myself. I couldn't come up with the right words to express how thankful I was and how blessed I felt," said Nancy Lee.
Nancy's daughter Jessica gained a beautiful relationship with Brittany's sister, Courtney.
"When we met, Courtney and I immediately bonded with each other and formed a sister-like relationship," said Jessica Barr who is Nancy's daughter.
The Duvernays invited their now extended family members from Texas to experience their first Mardi Gras.
"Last year we rode and we posted about how much fun we had, and neither of them had ever seen Mardi Gras before," said Ellen Duvernay.
Together, they rode on the Donate Life float which was meant to bring awareness to organ donation.
"I think it's helped us big time through the grief, because seeing Nancy, and to know Nancy would not be here today if it wouldn't have been for Brittany's gift," said Duvernay.
For more information about Donate Life Mississippi and how to register as a donor, visit donatelifems.org/.