Many people sign up to become organ donors because they like knowing that, in the event that the absolute worst happens to them, they’ll at least be able to save someone else’s life. Indeed, countless people have survived terrible odds because of the generosity of an organ donor.
Needless to say, the families of those who decide to donate don’t typically think of the day when their loved ones’ organs will ever need to be used—at least not anytime soon. Still, when that time comes, they may find some comfort in knowing that a little bit of good resulted from their loss.
The family of organ donor Tyson Schreiber, who passed away at the age of 19, knew that he was a special young man. Even in death, Tyson saved several lives. Yet his family never expected what one of the recipients would do in return…
Tyson Schreiber of Alsea, Oregon immediately signed up to be an organ donor once he turned 16. Sadly, he would honor his pledge sooner than anyone could’ve expected; he tragically died just three years later during an accident in which he wasn’t a seatbelt.
As heartbreaking as his passing was, there was a silver lining. Because Tyson was a donor, his organs were used to save the lives of numerous people, including Laura Ericks, who received his kidney and pancreas.
“The doctors had said I probably wouldn’t live to 40,” Laura said in an interview with KOIN 6 News. “I’m going to be 45 [on my next birthday].” She’s incredibly lucky, and she owes it all to Tyson’s generous gift!
On the one-year anniversary of Tyson’s death, Laura and her husband happened to be on vacation and passing through Alsea. Suddenly, she decided to visit Tyson’s grave site, where she spotted the deceased young man’s sister and mother. It was fate…
“It was surreal knowing that she’s all healthy now and cared enough to come look him up,” Tyson’s mother, Julie, said in an interview. “She didn’t know where he was. She didn’t have to drive by and look, but she wanted to.”
Before she left the cemetery, Laura decided to leave the following note by the cross set at Tyson’s grave. “My hero. Thank you for the gift of life. Laura.” What a sweet thing for her to do!
Watch the emotional video below to learn more about Tyson’s story, in the words of his mother, his sister, and one of the people who owes their lives to him. Just listen to the amazing things they have to say about him!
Studies suggest that a single organ donor can save as many as eight different lives. Tyson’s gift of life certainly went a long way for the people of Oregon. It’s truly beautiful that one of the people he helped was able to meet his family and give her thanks in person!
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