After a young Fresno husband and father died, tissues donated from his body helped many

FRESNO BEE | Barbara Anderson

As a young Fresno husband and father, James McLaughlan always thought of his family’s needs before his own, from giving his shirt to his wife in a rainstorm to racing after work to pick children up from cheerleading practice.

It made sense that McLaughlan, 27, would help others in death.

When McLaughlan died suddenly on Dec. 19 of what doctors suspect was a brain aneurysm – or a type of stroke – his family learned he had checked the organ/tissue donor box on his driver’s license.

Knowing her husband’s wishes made it easier for his wife, Alexi McLaughlan, 29, to give consent for the donation of his corneas, muscles, bone, skin and tissues. His heart and other vital organs were too damaged for donation.

“If it could help someone else, I was going to do it, but it was on his driver’s license so I knew that was what he wanted,” she says.

It’s likely that James McLaughlan’s selfless act has helped dozens. “A tissue donor can help up to 75 people on average,” says Noel Sanchez, public affairs manager at Donor Network West, an organ procurement and tissue recovery organization. Continue reading