Life Story: Sawyer Woods

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s something no parent ever wants to think about, losing a child.

But last week, a Twin Cities family had to say good-bye to their 14-year-old daughter. We talked with her mother, Martie Woods Godich.

“You know, you feel everything. Sadness, anger. Mostly love, thank goodness,” she said.

Sawyer Woods was a freshman at Central High School in St. Paul. She was an athlete and an artist, with lots of friends.

In this week’s Life Story, we look at how Sawyer’s promising future suddenly changed.

“She was just… she was just so loving,” her mother said.

Martie Woods Godich remembers an active and happy girl who took pride in her strength.

“She was so physically strong. From gymnastics, and she loved healthy foods. She was very interested in health,” she said.

She says Sawyer adored her little brother Eliot and loved family gatherings. When she was alone, she’d sit and sketch, very skillfully.

Many of her fashion designs are inspired by TV show “Project Runway,” which she loved to watch. She was a busy girl with big dreams who spent her final hours shopping with her best friend.

“My last text exchange, I asked if she was having fun and she say ‘Yah!’ with an exclamation point,” her mother said.

“In 14 years, there have been no signs. It turns out, which we would never know, she was born with a malformed blood vessel that at some point was going to burst. It could have been five years ago, it could have been five years from now,” she said.

When Sawyer was hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage, her friends released balloons in her favorite color: Blue.

They describe a friend who was joyful and incredibly thoughtful. Sawyer’s parents made the decision to donate her organs.

“We love knowing her heart going to an 11-year-old boy who is the same age as her brother. Her liver went to a 10-year-old girl.

“The world has experienced a setback. Sawyer was going to impact this world very positively. We need to make up for that, because she was going to do an awful lot. I feel driven.  She has a light we have to keep alive,” her mother said.

Her parents say they will be building a memorial at Camp Minikani in Wisconsin. This memorial will be a place for kids to play and gather and enjoy life.

Those interested in contributing can send donations to Jon Fleming McLaren, YMCA Camp Minikani, 875 Amy Belle Road, Hubertus, WI 53033.

Sawyer’s service and reception will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at Unity Church – Unitarian, 733 Portland Ave in St. Paul.

More from Angela Davis
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