Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that we have in our life, but sometimes we forget just how much we have to be thankful for. Getting a second chance at life through someone choosing to be an organ donor is definitely a reason to give thanks while remembering those we lost in the process. Before we sit down and enjoy the football games and turkey, there was a special segment on an athlete who died who helped others get their second chance.
Profootball Talk reports that CBS Thursday, Nov. 25, told the story of how late Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry’s organ donation had saved the lives of others. This special about organ donation was a lead-up to the Patriots-Lions Thanksgiving game. Henry died last December from injuries sustained during a car accident, and his mother, Carolyn Glaspy, had to make the decision to end life support. She realized she could possibly help save other people through donating Chris’ organs. The four people who received the organs from the athlete met Glaspy this Thanksgiving, and it helped Glaspy get the closure she needed.
Henry is not the only person to save lives by donating his organs; a lot of cases are actually from teenagers.
According to First Coast News, 17-year-old Haley Moore was involved in a car accident in 2007 that left her in a deep coma. Her parents chose to end life support and donate her organs because it was something she had wanted to do. Haley was not going to wake out of the coma, so her parents wanted her last wish fulfilled, which was to help other people by giving her own organs.
he doctors ended life support on the girl and were able to find six people who were not going to live unless they had transplants. Those six people today are alive because of the decision two parents had to make on behalf of their 17-year-old daughter. Although it was a hard decision for the parents to make, they realized that they knew that is what their daughter would have wanted if she could have talked. Moore was a hero because she helped save six other people who, without her, would not be alive today. Moore helped these six people get another chance at life, and her young spirit will live on through the donations.
I think Henry’s fame will impact potential organ donors in a lot of ways because it puts the spotlight on tragedies turned positive. Henry was a troubled athlete and, as a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, it is hard to forget the guy who was trying to get his life on track. Henry was a young guy who seemed to have gotten in with the wrong crowd but, before his death, it seemed he was turning it around and trying to do right where he could. Henry might be known for his troubles, but I think the choice to donate his organs after his death will help create a positive light around him.
I think Henry will impact organ donation because he was a famous athlete who had many talents as well as faults, just like we all do. Henry might not have been a high-profile football player, but his impact will be felt because of the type of life he lived and was trying to live. His mother choosing to end life support to have the chance to save others I think is very selfless, and it will deeply impact organ donation.
Henry’s legacy will live on through these people who received his organs, and it helps the National Football League emphasize the importance of organ donation. Knowing that a professional football player chose organ donation will help sway other people and younger adults to choose organ donation as well.
Mike Florio, “Chris Henry’s Mother Gets Her Closure”, Pro Football Talk
First Coast News Staff, “17-year-old car crash victim’s organs donated to save six lives”, First Coast News