KATC, Acadiana-Lafayette Lousiana | Erin Steuber
A young man saved five lives and gave the gift of sight to two. One family's decision, after the death of their loved one, made the difference.
Matt Cormier was a brother, son and musician when he died suddenly at 22 years old.
"He loved entertaining people, loved being on stage," said Ivonne Cormier, Matt's mother. "We just felt that for him to have his organs donated and for us to donate his organs, to help somebody else live a good full life would be right in his character."
The recipient of Matt's heart says he feels that he could never repay the family for the gift of healthy life.
"I just said thank you so much," said recepient Jeff Smith. "It means so much to me and my family and I can't give back enough. That's why I'm here today. Anything they ask me to do, I'm more than willing and happy to do if I can."
"It feels like Matt's still living with us not physically but spiritually and especially Jeff. He's been so close to us the last few years," said Ivonne.
It took almost a year for them to connect. Because of Matt's family's decision to donate his organs, Jeff can now enjoy what many of us take for granted.