Father who lost his son shares thoughts on being an organ donor

KSN | Ashonti Ford

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Last month, David and Lynn Gilkey lost their 26-year-old son, Ryan Marks, to a K2 overdose. K2 is a synthetic marijuana laced with numerous chemicals. Some of the after effects include increased heart rate, paranoia, hallucinations and for some, death.

“When you lose your child, you lose a part of you,” said David. “It’s completely different from losing a parent and if you haven’t lost a child, you will never know that pain.”

David and his wife are the founders of Rise Up For Youth; an organization that supports troubled kids in the community, so when they got the news that their own son was dead, they could not believe it.

“He started using it when he got locked up,” said David. “He was a good kid and a great father. We begged him to stop, but the addiction just took a hold of his life.”

“Some days are better than others, but today is not a good day,” said Lynn Gilkey who was not able to meet in person on Wednesday.

Two days after their son was pronounced dead, the Gilkey’s were contacted by a doctor who told them their son had signed up to be an organ donor. A month later they received five letters in the mail from Midwest Transplant Network stating that their son’s decision to be a donor, kept families together and saved lives. Continue reading

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