Ellen Gillette: Only easy thing about my son’s death was decision to ‘donate life’


Family and friends never need a reason to remember those who've passed away — but a chance comment, someone's Throwback Thursday photo posted on Facebook, or even a news story can bring memories rushing back with added impact.

For those who didn't know him, Adam was our youngest son. When I took him to get his license in May 2000, I noticed a sign on the wall encouraging drivers to sign up as organ donors. Adam and I talked about it as we waited for his test. What I didn't know at the time was that someone had addressed his health-careers class about the subject, so he was even more informed than I was. When he told me he thought organ donation was a good thing, I also didn't know that I would use that information in three short months.

Adam was transported to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne following a single-car accident that August, days before he was to start college. He'd withdrawn from high school, aced the GED and planned to work hard at his job and get prerequisites out of the way so that when he was old enough, he could apply to the fire academy at Indian River Community College.

He wanted to save lives, had wanted to be a firefighter like his Uncle Stacy for as long as he could talk. Instead, he saved five lives through the miracle of organ donation. His corneas gave sight to two others. Continue reading
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