Former courtroom rivals united forever by organ donation

ABC News’ Kaylee Hartung reports on two attorneys who went from courtroom rivals to lifelong friends brought together by tragedy.
8:15 | 04/08/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Former courtroom rivals united forever by organ donation
No other country in the world sees gun violence numbers like here in the United States every day in this country someone loses their life to firearms but rather than just read statistics. Let's show you. These are the faces of Americans who had been shot and die real people who didn't have to lose their lives for did. The national gun violence memorial a nonprofit web site run by volunteers gathers the pictures of the deceased. The staggering loss of humanity is now a daunting of daily task. Maria treated Connelly is one of those faces her family as any would be devastated. But they're grace has been met with some hope from some lives and Maria saved through her untimely deaths she really hard tunnel brings us this powerful story. Every moment she was our way is very thoughtful T everyone's needs she just wanted everyone to feel comfortable. Maria trade co never saw a problem that didn't have a solution. When you're raising kids you don't know if they're listening to you when you're talking because there Jerry rolling their eyes. Maria heard every word we says. Her parents Kristen Debbie C Maria was always passionate about serving in helping others which inspired her to become an art therapist. Maria and her fiance Chad traveled the world together and he just started building a life together in Florida. Our jobs and passions where aligning. We at a community around us a family to support ideas and so which. We are moving flow. It was supposed to be a Sunday like many others. On December 6 Marie and Sharon headed down to the beach on singer island. I have this great group friends that I play ultimate frisbee US and so. Every Sunday in the evening we would all meet and socially distance herself and we'll throw a frisbee in just catch up and it was a good time during a break in the game. Listening. Gunshots. I think there's three or four shots and and you could hear quake like a Ricky Shea. And it immediately after that I. You don't some Maria leaned over. Police say a witness told them to suspect admitted to shooting three times at a rival group that his family was feuding west. Police say one of those bullets structure to go in the head. I remember yelling for help tell lean friends to call for 911. Film. Holding her. Trying to tellers you know that I love her. And their home in taxes christened Debbie receiving a phone call no parent can be prepared for I don't know how to help. In this situation. And I always. Know what to do. But I didn't know what to do. Then. I do not help my daughter. Six hours later what felt like an eternity. The trickle is mentioned at the hospital and we got to the hospital and second we walked in on their room. Come into my daughter was dead. Maria was just 32 years old. The hospital informed the families she'd signed up to being an organ donor. She said if you know someone who needs an organ. To give me their name will put him at the top of the list and I said I happen to know somebody. That somebody. Was Donna Hawkins she and her husband bill were longtime opponents with Chris in the courtroom. I've been a defense attorney my entire career move over 32 years now and Dodd and bill were prosecutors. At that her scanning district attorney's office even though Chris and I were adversaries in the quorum. We treated each other with respect with kindness. And we became friends. For decades dominant been struggling through the pain of poly cystic kidney disease and it is a disease were small sense. Form in the kidneys. And over time they grow and impede kidney function. A normal kidney is the size of a fast or a little bit smaller. Mine graded bigger than football soon. She was a lot sicker. Than she would let people know. He did finally just got to the point where she couldn't function any longer is a lawyer. In the final months of 20/20 her condition was quickly getting worse. I'd prayed for freedom from the pain. However it. Could be a prayed for a donor. I didn't realize that at the time but my family who are actually preparing in the small way in case I did not make can't. On a daily basis what was their home like. The worst pain. Imagine a ball movement I've had two children and childbirth was nothing compared to how I thought it. Donna was in desperate need every kidney transplant. Doctor CD average wait for a transplant can be 45 pierce. It's a lot more demand than supply but fortunately when you're waiting for to ask fund you put your life on hold. And then you never know if your gonna make it to the finish line are not. Time was running out for Donna I had several people that came forward. But none that were a match with an O blood type you can only except from another oh donor. And so our options were somewhat limited. And tell Maria and tell Maria. In the treaty goofy Emmys darkest moment. Prince called bill less than did Donna get a kidney and he said no Asomugha won't. They ordered a given Brodeur worried this. Chris just turn no room upside down force. The gift potentially night's evening. But those families how do we. Of representative. Can use the words. You and Maria are a perfect match is there any way to describe the feeling. Of hearing those words. Elation. And yet still devastation for my friend patents. Happy that I was gonna live and may kits. He still incredibly dentists to it for them. Of that state following the only thing we had. In this nightmare and it only thing we could hold on to is that something good was happening. That issue she was a miracle. For somebody else in less than a week after Maria's life was cut tragically short Donna went into the surgery to conceive hearse. Diana was like being in the sense that she very wonderful gift I'm very well under for a kidney. He she takes who have carefully scan which I'm sure she will this you know for last term for the rest of her life. Today in the US more than a 100000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. Marie is kidneys liver and lungs were all successfully donated after her death. We're going to be sad for the rest of our lives that are ordered but. In that moment of sadness her death gave Don in three other people life and we're glad it we're glad that you've got to have. Because we all we women were always will. If we always will be. She's my Angel. She's just. That an absolute Angel and I I feel like issue is and always will be a part of me a dear friend gave me. A bracelet with Maria's name on its hands. I look at my rest several times each day and I think of my area hands. Not a day goes by where I don't say purse or gratitude. Every morning and every evening for our Maria and for the entire trying to cope family and Chad. I want to be a better person because she's with me. Healing our town ABC news Los Angeles. One I'm touching story our thanks and killing for bringing that to us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"8:15","description":"ABC News’ Kaylee Hartung reports on two attorneys who went from courtroom rivals to lifelong friends brought together by tragedy.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"76934434","title":"Former courtroom rivals united forever by organ donation","url":"/US/video/courtroom-rivals-united-forever-organ-donation-76934434"}