|Tracey and Rob Parkinson|
|Trish Kissel and Kristine Rose|
Local News 8 tells the story of how the tragic death of one local husband and father ended up saving the life of another.
By Brett Crandall, Local News 8 Reporter
REXBURG – April is Organ Donation Awareness Month. Each day about 75 people receive an organ transplant that saves their life but there are still many who die because there aren't enough to go around.
While in Hawaii on a construction job Jeremy Rose broke his neck in an accident leaving him brain dead. At his bed side Jeremy's wife Kristine had to make a lot of hard choices fast including if she wanted to give part of her husband away.
Although hesitant at first Kristine's sister, Trish Kissel said it only took her ten minutes to decide she wanted a part of Jeremy to live on.
"What a good feeling it gives you inside because it's what he would have done," said Kissel. "You could almost feel that he was telling her that he was guiding her through that."
After making the decision to donate her husband's organs, Kristine heard word that her former neighbor back home in Rexburg was in need of a liver.
Rob Parkinson has had a rare liver disease since he was 20 years old.
But it was only in 2007 that he started to show the signs of failing health.
With thousands of miles separating the two men it took a lot of doctors and health personnel to make it happen. The surgery was a success and rob was given a new life.
"My second birthday was January 24th," said Rob.
With a shortage of organ donors the Parkinson family prepared for the worst.
Normally the sickest one in need gets the transplant.
"If everyone who could donate organs would donate organs there would not be a shortage," said Rob.
After an emotional two years of sickness Rob's wife Tracey can't express enough, her gratitude for the Rose family.
"It's a grieving difficult time and that's what's so amazing about the Rose family," said Tracey. "Is that in that difficult time and they would think of someone else, Us!"
The Parkinson family says they will spend the rest of their lives promoting organ donation.
"I want to tell everyone how grateful I am that someone in their time of grief donated and made that decision because it changed my life," said Rob.
But it wasn't just Rob's life that was saved, but the lives of those who received his other vital organs.
"There wasn't anything we could do," said Kissel. "The outcome was going to be the same no matter what and at least now several lives are saved because of him."
"The gift of life is one of the greatest gifts that you can give someone," said Rob.
Now engraved on a plaque of wood cut by Jeremy himself reads his horoscope on the day of his death. "Selflessness is a talent. You've practiced it until grace has become second nature to you. An act of kindness meant more to the recipient than you know. And the best part is that person never even asked the favor."
You can indicate your desire to donate your organs on your driver's license but remember your family will ultimately be who decides whether you'll donate or not so make sure your loved ones know how you feel when it comes to organ donation.
For more information and an easy on line from to register yourself on the Idaho donor registry go towww.yesidaho.org