As an organ donor, boy can make lasting impact after tragedy

KOB | Caleb James
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- There is a lot of heartbreak in the wake of Monday's horrific collision between an Albuquerque Police Department officer and an Albuquerque family

Late Thursday night, the 6-year-old in that car, a boy named Joel, died. According to family members, Joel's mother signed paperwork to donate his organs, and the decision will likely have a lifesaving impact on New Mexicans in need.

There's no explaining a 6-year-old's death. But as little Joel was taken off life support, he became a life-saver himself.

"It's pretty powerful when you think about it," said Dr. Julie Riley, a University of New Mexico Hospital transplant surgeon.

Riley cannot talk about or comment on Joel's case, but she said organ donation is powerful by the numbers alone. One donor can save eight lives. Riley sees the decision bring meaning to hopeless loss.

"It gives them a little bit of hope that something good came out of a very bad situation for them," said Riley. "That they're able to think about their loved ones still carrying on in life and still helping other people." Continue reading

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Register as an organ, eye and tissue donor
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Be sure to share your decision with your family to ensure your generous gift is honored,  At risk is the legacy you wish to leave.
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