Family turns tragedy into gift of life for many

Ogemaw County Herald | Jay Ogden

MIO — Todd Wright, a Mio resident, would have never known his kidneys were failing if he had not had to make an emergency trip to the hospital for a dehydration episode several years ago.

Wright, 56, said he found out during the visit that his kidneys — which scrub toxins from blood — were only working at 20 percent capacity.

“So after that I went to a kidney doctor, and they said I had chronic kidney disease, and they were failing,” he said.

He would be surviving on kidney dialysis like many Americans, if not for the gift given to him by a young man whose life was cut short.

On Oct. 10, West Branch native Evan Kimball was severely injured in an auto accident while driving to college from West Branch to Grand Rapids. He died Oct. 12 but not before his organs were taken to be transplanted in others. His family, however, can take some solace in the fact that even in death Evan is helping those who are alive, because years before he elected to be an organ and tissue donor.

Lydia said as her son lay in a hospital bed and doctors told the family their son would not make it, she and her husband Ward — who works in the Tawas Tool Star Cutter plant with Wright — thought of Evan’s wishes to be an organ donor. Continue reading