Granger Smith’s Wife Reveals Son River’s Organ Donation Gave Life to Two Adults
Granger Smith's wife, Amber, turned to Instagram on Saturday (July 13) to share more about the couple's decision to donate their late son River's organs, revealing that his donation gave life to two people.
The 3-year-old died on June 6 in a drowning accident at the family's home, and Smith says once the doctors told her and Granger that there was zero chance of him recovering brain function, they knew what they had to do.
"I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others?" she writes. "His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something. There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives."
It required a period of several days to search for viable recipients, but the family couldn't bear to watch his body pumped full of drugs for days, so the doctors agreed to operate the next morning, saying the family wouldn't know which organs were used until later. River's organs were so small that they had to be measured physically, not just by x-ray.
Granger Smith Pays Tribute to Late Son River Smith
"I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood," Amber writes. "The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the 'walk of honor.' We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone. Granger and I held each other and cried."
The couple later received a letter informing them that River's organs had given life to a 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man.
"We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults," she writes. "I cried when we opened it. Cried out of sadness & cried out of love. I’m so proud to be River’s mama and I’m so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible 3 years. I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made."
Smith adds that there are currently more than 113,000 people waiting to receive organs, and 20 people die each day. She's encouraging people to visit OrganDonor.gov to find out more information about how to become an organ donor.
Another way the Smiths have carried on River's legacy is by raising money in his name through sales of a tribute T-shirt. The couple presented a check for $218,791 on June 25 to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, where River received treatment after his accident. The couple appreciated the care and compassion with which the staff treated the family.
The tribute T-shirts to River are currently sold out, but the Smiths are designing a new one for fall to raise more money in his memory. Until then, donate directly to Dell Children's here.
PICS: Granger Smith, Wife Amber Give Big Check to Dell Children's: