Granger Smith’s wife revealed that their son’s donated organs helped save the lives of two people after he died in a tragic drowning accident last month.
In an Instagram post she called it “one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions” the couple has ever made.
“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?” Amber Smith wrote. “Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby.”
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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. ❤️
Amber revealed that they found out their “tiny, red-headed hero” gave life to a 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man.
“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.”
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We have had such overwhelming help since we lost River. People have been at our house non stop, checking on us, bringing us food, talking with us, praying with us, but for the first time in a month, I was alone for a couple days this past weekend. Granger was on tour and the kids were with family. I decided I needed to just be alone. I needed to just feel all of the emotions. I allowed myself to let out everything I was feeling. I cried. Guttural, animal cries for our son. I’m pretty sure I cried inside and outside every place there was on our property. I so needed it. I talked to God, I talked to River, I read books on Hope and Joy and Grief and Love. I watched movies about Heaven. Cried some more. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but the way Granger and I see it, we can run away from God at this time or we can run to Him. He’s been with us every step of the way, from the first responders and neighbors the night of the accident, to the doctors and nurses hands, to the friends and family by our side, to everything that fell into place so seamlessly for River’s service, to the rainbow He gave us after. He’s been there. So why would we turn on Him now? This life isn’t meant to be perfect. We will face trials and tribulations, loss and heartache, but it’s how we respond to everything thrown at us that matters. Will we retreat and hide from it or will we learn grow from it? I know what I’m choosing. I’m making a conscious choice each and every day to grow from all of this. Does it suck, hell yes. Do I understand? Hell no. Will I have setbacks? Yes. But do I Trust? Yes. I’m committed to loving people and raising kind humans and spreading our love for God, even in the shitty, unfair times. For anyone going through a life changing event in their lives, you are stronger than you think. You can get up. You can fight and find joy, not happiness, happiness is circumstantial. I won’t be “happy” for a while, maybe ever, but I can still have joy in my heart. Joy for my family, my life, and God. And you can too. ❤️