Topeka shooting victim’s organs save five lives, mother remembers teen

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The family of DaMya Hudnall, a 13-year-old shooting victim, says the teen’s organ donation has already saved lives.

“I never thought that I would have any of us be a donor until this time when the hospital had told me about it and I actually went through with it it felt amazing to have my daughter help save other lives,” Williams said.

Her mother, Tara Williams, said it’s the one thing keeping her going as she grieves her daughter.

“I feel like I have her here telling me you got to be strong for the baby, you need to be strong for your siblings,” Williams said.

Hudnall was a vibrant and bubbly teenager, and full of life, according to her friends and family.

“She just tells a lot of jokes, does flips, jumps around runs around around screams,” her best friend Alisiana Mitchell said.

This loving family was torn apart within a blink of an eye, Williams said. The night before the accident, she said she was watching tv in her bed with all of her children. The next morning she was woken up to screams..

“I heard him screaming down the hallway, waking me up,” Williams said. “I ran and saw my baby just laying there lifeless.”

Dejuan Yelverton was identified as the owner of the gun and according to Kagay, he had been staying at the home recently. Yelverton is now facing three criminal charges: first-degree murder committed during an inherently dangerous felony aggravated endangering a child and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The court has set a bond at $250,000. Yelverton will remain in custody and is set to appear in court on June 24th for a scheduling conference.

The family is raising money this weekend to help lay her to rest. The fundraiser will be at Betty Phillips Park in Topeka starting at 6 p.m. Saturday. According to DaMya’s mother, balloons will be released at 7:30 p.m. and a candlelight vigil will begin at 9 p.m.

The family is selling plates of food, along with t-shirts, necklaces, and other items to help raise money for her funeral costs. You can also donate directly to the funeral home here.

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