Honoring a life-saving gift

Visalia Times Delta | Juan Villa

When longtime Salinas resident George Grimm was having heart problems and needed a helping hand, his friend Freddie Fuentes stepped right up.

Fuentes, who also lives in Salinas, immediately organized a fundraiser with coworkers, but it didn’t work out so well.

A total of about $160 was raised.

“I ended up telling him I was sorry I didn’t raise him that much money,” Fuentes said. “But don’t worry, there’s something in the future I’m going to be able to do for you. I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to do something.”

Five months later in Feb. 2014, thanks to a decision by Fuentes and his family, they were able to provide 62-year-old Grimm with a life-saving gift: a heart and a kidney.

The organs came from Fuentes’ brother Sisto Fuentes, a 31-year-old Porterville native who died in what the Fuentes family called “an unfortunate incident.” Continue reading