Granger Smith, wife say son's death allowed two others to live through organ donation

Granger Smith and Amber Smith visit Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas to present a donation in memory of their son, River Kelly Smith on June 25, 2019, in Austin, Texas.
Caption
Granger Smith and Amber Smith visit Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas to present a donation in memory of their son, River Kelly Smith on June 25, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

Credit: Rick Kern/Getty Images

Credit: Rick Kern/Getty Images

Granger Smith and his wife's tragedy of losing their 3-year-old son to drowning has given hope to two families whose loved ones were saved by the Smith family's selfless act of organ donation.

Amber Smith posted on Instagram that they had decided to have River Smith tested to see if organ donation would be possible as they prepared to say goodbye to their son, USA Today reported.

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"We knew River's spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn't bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for 3 or more days while they searched," Amber Smith posted on Instagram.

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I’ve always known I wanted to be a donor if anything were to ever happen to me. I just felt that if I had viable organs, why would I go into the ground with them? My spirit would be in Heaven, so why not save a life if I could? Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby. When 3 different neuro specialists told us that River had 0% chance of brain recovery (yes 0, not 10 or 1%, 0) after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others? 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. The doctors said donation was quite a process. We would have to search for viable recipients and it could take days. We knew River’s spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn’t bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for 3 or more more days while they searched. They tried to expedite the process so our family could be in peace, told us they would take him back to operate the next morning, but we wouldn’t know what organs could be used until after. With such a small body, organs had to be measured physically, not just by X-ray. I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood. 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. We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults. A 49 year old woman and a 53 year old man. 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. There are over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting. Go to OrganDonor.gov to see how you can help give life as well. ❤️

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Instead, doctors removed his organs, finding out which could be possibly donated after the procedure was finished and the organs were weighed and measured, USA Today reported.

Amber Smith spent the night laying with River before they took him to the operating room to harvest his organs and see if he could match them to someone who needed them to survive.

"The next morning family and staffed 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," Amber Smith wrote.

Amber Smith said the family had been informed that a 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man each received organs from River. She did not specify what was donated.

"I pray these 2 recipients to live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv," she wrote.

Granger Smith and Amber Smith have two other children, a 7-year-old daughter London and a 5-year-old son Lincoln, USA Today reported.

A funeral for River was on June 11, People magazine reported.

For more information on organ donation, visit organdonor.gov.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Country Singer Granger Smith’s 3-Year-Old Son Died After ‘Tragic Accident’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews