Henry's gift helps five survive
HEARTBROKEN Toowoomba mother Melissa Keogh is extremely proud of her son Henry Keevers who, even after his death, has been able to help five people in desperate need.
Ms Keogh said the decision to donate her son's organs was made by his family shortly after it was confirmed he would not recover from the injuries sustained in a tragic Highfields car crash on May 2, 2009.
The crash also killed his Downlands College schoolmates William Hutchison and Hamish Stewart.
Ms Keogh had remained by her son's side in the Intensive Care Unit of Royal Brisbane Hospital for four days before the decision was made.
"We had decided that Henry would want to help others as he always tried to do in life," Ms Keogh said.
Henry's family met with a representative from Donate Life who talked them through the donation process before arrangements were made for Henry to go into surgery the next day.
"Gary (Henry's father) and I spent the last night with our son. I held him in my arms all night. I could not leave him. I could not sleep.
"He was in my care for one last time. I had to watch over him."
Henry's heart went to a middle-aged family man.
One of his lungs (his other one was damaged) went to another middle-aged man who was very ill and eventually passed away three months later.
"Henry was able to give this man three more months with his family," Ms Keogh said.
One of Henry's kidneys was donated to an older lady who was his perfect match.
"Henry would have preferred a much younger girl be his perfect match, but oh well," Ms Keogh said.
Henry's liver went to a family man.
The other part of his liver and the other kidney went to a young girl.
Ms Keogh said the organ recipients kept in touch, in complete confidence, through Donate Life.
"I have recently received a Christmas card from Henry's heart recipient, who advised me how well he was doing thanks to Henry's gift.
"He told me that he walked his daughter down the aisle and watched his son win a football grand final, all of which he would not have been able to do without Henry's help."
Ms Keogh said she was still in complete disbelief about the car crash which claimed the lives of the three young men and changed the lives of four others and their families for ever.
However, she said she was very proud of her son's donation.
"From one amazing life, five lives were helped."
HOW TO BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR
- Research your decision.
- Register as a donor
- Discuss the decision with your family because they could be asked to give the final okay if the time comes.
- For more information visit Donate Life.