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Friend who gave life through organ donation gifted with Dream Team surprise

Posted at 7:58 AM, Aug 15, 2023

OGDEN, Utah — When Lexie Gillman needed an immediate liver transplant, she spread the word on social media hoping for a miracle.

She soon got a message from an old high school friend, Joan Shoell.

“She saw my post on Facebook saying that I needed recycled parts.” Gillman said.

Shoell did a donor screening and turned out to be a perfect match.

“For her to do what she did without even having talked to me for, like, six years was just amazing,” Gillman remarked.

In March 2023, the two women went into the operating room together, and despite a few bumps, both are recovered and doing well.

Months later, Gillman nominated Shoell to receive a FOX 13 Dream Team surprise for her life-saving sacrifice.

The FOX 13 Dream Team got into position outside an Ogden restaurant where Lexie, Joan and Joan’s sister were having brunch. When the women walked out, FOX 13 News anchor Kelly Chapman approached the women saying the news crew was there to do a story on Ogden’s historic 25th street.

Once the women were being interviewed, Chapman switched gears and let Joan know everyone was actually there to honor her.

“I would do it again,” Shoell remarked when asked about saving her friend's life.

Joan received a $1,500 gift card to the Homestead Resort in Midway so she can get some much-deserved rest and relaxation.