When our loved ones die, we want to keep the whole of them. The memories, the things they left, and their body. We might not be able to keep the latter to our side, but it gives us a relief that inside the tomb is still the body we once hugged. This family from Pennsylvania, however, chose to donate their son’s body parts to save lives.
Eighteen-year-old freshman Cody Souders met an unfortunate death after he accidentally overdosed with prescription pills. His mother, Amy Souders, sadly recalled that she could hear Cody playing songs with his guitar in their basement, and she never expected she would find him in the same place, not breathing anymore.
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Cody spent five more days in the hospital after the incident on life support, but doctors failed to save him and declared him brain dead. But the Souders family didn’t put their man’s life in vain. They fulfilled Cody’s wish to be an organ donor.
The lives of fifty people were changed because of Cody. His corneas restored to sight; his skin was used for fire victims; the tissues and other body parts including bones, tendons, valves, and veins were donated to patients in need; and his heart, liver, and both kidneys were used in transplants that extended people’s lives. Video below shows a clip of when the family meets the recipients.
The donees and their families were thankful for Cody and the decision his family made. The Souders were thankful for the opportunity as well. “I like the idea that he’s still living on today in other people,” his brother Justin said.
Ever since Cody died, the Souders take part in a 3K run and walk called “Donor Dash” to spread awareness about organ donation and raise funds to support it.
Howard Nathan, CEO of the Gift of Life, the organization that helped with the multiple transplants, commented, “It’s an amazing thing, and the best thing is it works. People’s lives are saved.”
With this family’s selfless act, they just proved that opportunities to change lives do not end in death. Even if you’re not breathing anymore like Cody, you can still paint smiles to people’s faces.