09/05/2013 01:37 pm ET Updated Sep 05, 2013

Syrian Refugee Donates Wife's Organs To Italy, Saves Three Lives

A Syrian nurse who died after fleeing her war-torn country for Italy saved three lives when her husband donated her organs, The Local in Italy reported.

The woman was rescued with her spouse and two sons off the coast of Sicily on Aug. 28. She later passed away, prompting her husband to consent to the donations. Dr. Maurillo Carpinteri, who treated the woman, told La Repubblica in an article translated by The Local that the family's trust was "truly exemplary," given the desperate situation.

A 66-year-old man received her liver, and a 60-year-old woman and 41-year-old man received her kidneys in life-saving transplants, the outlet reported.

In July, the organs of a Syrian refugee who died in Lebanon were harvested to benefit six patients in need of transplants, Lebanon's The Daily Star noted.

According to a report by the U.N. Refugee Agency, the number of Syrian refugees has passed 2 million. Syrians seeking asylum in Italy recently passed 3,000, the AFP mentioned, with the nearly 2,100-mile Mediterranean Sea crossing to Sicily creating extra hazards. Last week one woman gave birth on a boat whose engine had failed and arrived in Sicily with the baby still partially attached to the umbilical cord.



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