TV features Chris Henry, Mike Zimmer families
Henry's mother talks in CBS segment
BY TOM GROESCHEN | Cincinnati enquirer
Bengals fans remember Chris Henry as a talented but troubled wide receiver. While his football story was one of unfulfilled promise, Henry in death has helped save four lives.
CBS Sports today will air a special "NFL Today" story about Henry's mother donating her son's organs. Chris Henry died Dec. 17, 2009, a day after falling out of a moving pickup truck driven by his fiancee during a domestic dispute in Charlotte, N.C.
The Henry story airs Thursday on the NFL pre-game show between 12-12:30 p.m. before the New England-Detroit game and again between 8-8:20 p.m. before the Bengals-New York Jets game on Channel 12.
Carolyn Glaspy, Henry's mother, is featured in the CBS segment. The piece also will feature four recipients of Henry's organs who, through the assistance of LifeShare of the Carolinas and the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, gathered Nov. 6 for an emotional meeting with Henry's mother.
"It was a journey I had to go on, to see those people and touch them," Glaspy said Wednesday. "I know Chris is smiling right now, knowing he's still part of this world and helping these families."
Henry was 26 when he died. Henry had a string of legal troubles, including several arrests during his Bengals career. Two months before Henry died, an Enquirer story detailed how he had changed his life for the better.
About an hour after Henry died, a family support coordinator for LifeShare of the Carolinas - a Charlotte-based organ-procurement organization - spoke with Glaspy and other family members about organ donation.
"I told them I had to talk to Chris first," Glaspy said. "I went back and held his hand and asked him what would be a good decision ... what could go right, what could go wrong. Chris was a giver, and he loved people. I told him I would do it."
In the CBS segment, Henry organ recipients Donna Arnold, James Benton, Thomas Elliott and Brian Polk share their stories. Among excerpts provided by CBS:
Kidney recipient Polk: "I couldn't make plans for the future because I was too busy fighting for today."
Kidney and pancreas recipient Arnold: "Death. If I didn't get a transplant, that was the alternative."
Liver recipient Benton: "At one point they gave me six months to live."
Glaspy on her son's last hours: "I thought I was just going in to see maybe, injuries, and I never imagined in a million years I was going in to see my son for the last time."
Glaspy was heartened by the organ recipients' stories, especially nearing the one-year anniversary of her son's passing.
"I'm going to stay in contact with these families, so I'll never miss Chris," Glaspy said. "We're all family now. I know Chris is happy."
To become an organ and tissue donor in the Greater Cincinnati area, visit Lifepassiton.org or call 513-558-5555.
ZIMMER FEATURE: On its Bengals-Jets pregame show Thursday, the NFL Network will have a feature on Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. The segment includes how Zimmer and his family are doing, a year after the passing of Zimmer's wife Vicki