“Organ Theft is Real”: Mother Seeks Justice After Overland Park Hospital Harvests Son’s Organs Against Her Will

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Jemica Winston, a mother in Kansas City, has gone viral on TikTok with over 5 million views, after telling the horrific story of what happened to her son in an Overland Park hospital.

Below we have published the full transcript between The Kansas City Defender and Jemica Winston, the mother of Avery Williams;

KC Defender: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. We were so incredibly sad to hear of what happened to your son and really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us as we cannot imagine how traumatic this has all been for you. 

Jemica: No, thank you all. I appreciate you so much for helping us seek justice for Avery. Would you like for me to just tell you everything that happened from the beginning?

KC Defender: Yes, if you are comfortable with that, that would be helpful so we have context and can understand everything that happened. 

Jemica: Ok…

Avery was on a double date at the bowling alley on october 3rd, celebrating national boyfriend day. A few hours after he called me to check in, I received the news that my son and his two friends had been shot and were being transferred to the hospital. 

Avery’s friend’s dad was who called us to let us know that they had been shot. At that point we wanted to know where Avery was and were trying to figure out where to go. They said they didn’t know where Avery was at but yet the twins were getting worked on.

My husband and I sat out there for a minute waiting to find him. Someone eventually came up and said they “think” Avery was at Overland Park Regional Medical center. I didn’t understand how he got over there, or why he got separated from his friends. When we got there, they didn’t tell us right away whether he was there or not. A security guard came out maybe 20 minutes later and said yes Avery is here. I said “is he okay what’s going on with him?” They never told us anything. 

When they finally came down 30 minutes later, his biological dad got there. At that point it was me, biological dad and step dad all there asking “where is he at? Is he okay?” 

The first thing they said was “Avery is a donor and we have 7 people that he can be gifting,” I’m like “why are y’all telling me this, where is my baby, what are you talking about?”

When we got up there his head is wrapped in gauze, he was shot in the back of the head 2 times. The doctor said being shot in the head 2 times there is nothing we can do so we are going to donate his organs. I’m like what do you mean, if there is any life saving measure we can do can we do something! I’m just trying to understand.

All they were saying is “there is nothing we can do, he’s going to be giving gifts.”

At this point I open up my phone, I have his temporary ID, I have his paper copy of that same license and it says he is not a donor. I tell them I can even get his actual license. For the next 2 days I’m trying to get the homicide unit to get his physical license for me to show he is not a donor so I can buy time to get an independent assessment.

The thing is, on his 21st birthday Avery made it his business, I remember the day clearly, I took him to go get his license, he explicitly wanted to be taken off of the donor because of a really bad experience that happened with his grandma, my mother. Originally I put it on his license when he was 15, but after that bad experience happened he specifically said he was taking it off when he turned 21.

Then we moved in March/April, and he lost his driver’s license. The paper permit I have is from Jan. 31st 2021. His actual license says March 2021. He lost his license again and made sure it was off. 

I had the proof from the beginning and he was not on the Donor registry AT ALL. We thought they were going to talk to us about if there was anything we could do about his life. I told them y’all know he is not a donor on his license or in the registry. There was no reason we should’ve even still been talking about it. 

On the 5th they came to us and said they’ll get a neurologist. I wanted to because my family felt he was still very much alive, there were tears coming out of his eyes. 

The Neurologist comes in and declares him braindead. The people come in and say since he’s braindead now can we take his organs. Our family says no, we want to take it to courts and see if there’s anything else we can do. 

They were being very aggressive. We have a meeting with the nurse in the video. On the 6th we leave the meeting with Midwest transplant, we are all on the same page, we are not going to do anything at the moment. Because even after yall saying he’s braindead he is still crying out his eyes. 

They were saying well okay if yall want to keep him alive how are you going to pay for it?

I told them Avery had state farm life insurance and between me, his dad and stepdad we were going to find a way to pay for it. 

I printed off the Kansas donor registry. It showed that he was not on there. 

When we left there at 6:45pm on the 7th we thought we were on the same page. So I decided I’m going to go ahead and go home, because my kids haven’t been to school all week. When I left that nurse was still there. She said everything is all good. 

About 9pm-9:30pm, his biological dad was there, he calls me frantically yelling and screaming. He was like “You told these people to take my son’s life and organs!” I told him that’s not what I said! I never told them that. We all agreed they are going to give us time, we are not taking him off life support, we are going to get an independent assessment of our own.

He said “well these people are talking about they are going to do the harvesting tomorrow.” So I call the nurse and say “what do you mean y’all are doing it tomorrow?” She tries to tell me “well no we didn’t say we would give you time. Midwest Transplant and legal team said that we can move forward.” I told her “no you can’t because I said you can’t and I provided evidence that he is not on the registry.”

I talked to our family and we planned to meet with me, my husband and his biological father, we all planned to get there at 9am the next morning, Friday October 8th. It was basically an emergency meeting because they decided without our consent the night before that they are going to do the harvesting. 

When we get there they tell us, “we are going to do the Harvesting. Yall need to say yall goodbyes.” I said what happened to the meeting? I came here today to have a meeting and to plan the independent assessment. That’s when I started recording the video. 

At this point I’m calling everybody, im calling every attorney, the police, when they seen i was doing that they start scheming to move the time of the harvesting up. Originally they said they were going to do it at 1:30pm. When they seen me panicking and calling people then they moved it up to 11:55am. 

She said “at 11:55am we are snatching him off life support. Say goodbye at 11:55.” I was trying to get the woman to understand, mam, this is not what we discussed, how are you doing this?”

This was the scariest and most profound part of it all. They pushed his bed outside. I’m following the bed, my husband and I are holding onto his bed for dear life. This is also the part you can see in the video. 

I was in disbelief, in shock, in utter disgust, im looking for police, for anyone to help or say something. 

My kids when they got out of school they thought they were going to be able to see their brother. 

The nurse kept saying he was on there May of 2020, but i kept saying yes but was not on there since May 2021. Nothing showing me that he was on there for 2021. 

“We have 7 people who are waiting for these gifts and they are gonna get them” she said.

Shortly after they snatched our son off life support, basically murdered him if he wasn’t really dead. Because we didn’t have an independent assessment. 

We were the only Black family that I saw on the unit. It was nearly all white people. It was absolutely wall to wall people who were white. The only person of color was the security guard, and Isaac from Midwest Transplant. 

I don’t want to make it a race issue, but I felt like, I’m disgusted. There was nobody there to help us, nobody there to try to hear us, we were being not listened to. They realized the roles in the family, they were trying to play me and stepdad against dad. 

The last thing I forgot to mention is, and that still doesnt make sense to me, how did he end up all the way in Kansas, if he was severely hurt, why was he taken all the way over there? We have numerous trauma centers here in Kansas City. I’m still trying to process how he got to Kansas. 

I found out, Kansas law protects them from the organ stuff that they are doing. Missouri wouldn’t have allowed that to happen. Missouri law has much more protections around the use of organs and things like that. They knew they wouldn’t have been able to do it if they kept him over here. That’s why they took him over there. 

KC Defender: And who did you say was the ones who carried this out? Was it the hospital?

Jemica: It was them and Midwest Transplant, who is onsite. They are responsible for the organ registry, they are the ones who said “hey it is okay to do this.” The Administrator, his name is Isaac, it was very clear with Isaac that Avery was not a donor.

KC Defender: That is truly horrific and unbelievable. We are so sad your family has had to endure this. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. 

Jemica: Truly, thank you all so much for covering it. And for letting the world know It’s always JUSTICE FOR AVERY!!

Defender News Briefing

America's #1 newsletter for Black politics, culture tech and world news.

Smart, brief, and straight to your inbox

You can unsubscribe at any time. Have a question? Contact us or read our privacy policy for more info.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top