Country singer Granger Smith’s wife, Amber Smith recently shared how their 3-year-old son saved the lives of two people.
On Saturday, Smith revealed on Instagram that they had decided to donate River’s organs — and his donation saved the life of two adults.
The couple’s 3-year-old son tragically died last month in a drowning accident at home. That same day, the country singer, 39, shared the “unthinkable” news on Twitter and Instagram, revealing “despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived.” River was laid to rest on June 11.
“I thought, ‘How can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others?'” Amber Smith wrote on Instagram.
After making the decision and running tests, Amber said the family and hospital staff lined up the hall for the “walk of honor.”
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I’ve always known I wanted to be a donor if anything were to ever happen to me. I just felt that if I had viable organs, why would I go into the ground with them? My spirit would be in Heaven, so why not save a life if I could? Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby. When 3 different neuro specialists told us that River had 0% chance of brain recovery (yes 0, not 10 or 1%, 0) after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others? His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something. There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives. The doctors said donation was quite a process. We would have to search for viable recipients and it could take days. We knew River’s spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn’t bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for 3 or more more days while they searched. They tried to expedite the process so our family could be in peace, told us they would take him back to operate the next morning, but we wouldn’t know what organs could be used until after. With such a small body, organs had to be measured physically, not just by X-ray. I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood. The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the “walk of honor”. We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone. Granger and I held each other and cried. We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults. A 49 year old woman and a 53 year old man. I cried when we opened it. Cried out of sadness & cried out of love. I’m so proud to be River’s mama and I’m so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible 3 years. I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made. There are over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting. Go to OrganDonor.gov to see how you can help give life as well. ❤️
“Granger and I held each other and cried. We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults. A 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man. I cried when we opened it,” she wrote.
The couple also donated more than $218,000 to Dell Children’s Medical Center, the hospital that treated River before he died, People Magazine reported, adding that the donation was in honor of their son and the work doctors did to comfort them throughout the tragic ordeal.
“I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv,” Amber Smith wrote in the Instagram post.
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