‘She would give the best hugs’: Parents speak about daughter killed by fallen tree

Aleya Brooks saves three lives through organ donation as family works to keep her legacy alive.
Aleya's parents talk about how they are keeping their daughter's legacy alive.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 4:48 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 6:43 PM CST
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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The parents of Aleya Brooks are working to keep their daughter’s legacy alive. She is the Sumner County 15-year-old who died over the weekend after a tree fell on her. She suffered from bleeding to her brain.

Aleya lived every moment with intention. She was a freshman on the Liberty Creek High School cheer team and the perfect teenage daughter to Jason and Darla Brooks.

“She would give the best hugs,” says Jason Brooks. “And I would wrap both my arms around her. I’d put both of my hands behind her head and pull her close to me, and I think that’s what I’m going to miss the most.”

Without their daughter, Jason and Darla say nothing is the same.

“Mornings are really tough. He actually had to drive to school on Monday,” says Darla.

“I got up that morning and I just thought to myself, I want to be able to feel it one more time,” says Jason. “So, at the time when I would normally get in the car, I got in the car, turned on the praise and worship music, and that was the last time I drove it.”

Last weekend, Aleya’s friends and family came to Skyline Medical Center as she went on to donate her organs to those who need them.

“She knew the importance of organ donation,” says Darla. “I’ve had my sister’s kidney for almost 35 years.”

“They actually saved three peoples lives through the donation of four organs,” says Jason about Aleya’s donation.

Two of Aleya’s organs went to one person, but her heart is still intact.

“The selfish part of my momma heart didn’t mind that,” says Darla. “Because I don’t know if I can handle someone else having my daughters’ heart.”

Jason and Darla say they plan to meet the recipients of Aleya’s organs one day. They want to know who Aleya’s life is helping meet their dreams and aspirations, which their daughter once had.

“She said ‘I just want to be a neuropsychologist,’” says Jason. “And it breaks our heart that it was from brain trauma that she is no longer here.”

Aleya’s celebration of live service will be held at Long Hollow Church Thursday at 6:30p.m. Jason and Darla say Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office plans to also light the Korean Veterans Bridge blue in her honor.