November 4, 1998 began as any normal work day for our family. Our son, Michael, dropped off his three year old son at the babysitter’s, where they kissed and hugged, not knowing this was to be their last goodbye. Shortly after arriving at the job site, Michael fell approximately 18 feet and sustained a critical head injury. This was to become the worst day of our lives. Within twelve hours our first born son was declared brain dead.
When Michael’s wife and his brother told us they had witnessed his license, we knew without a doubt what he wanted. That commitment gave four people a new life. Mike’s decision has given our lives new purpose as we volunteer to make others aware of organ, tissue and eye donation. The donation has given our family much needed comfort and has kept us from becoming bitter over the tragic loss of our son, brother, husband and father.
Not only did Michael give the gift of life through donation, he left our family with one final gift of his love. We were blessed with the miracle of the birth of his baby daughter, born seven months after her father’s death. Mikayla and her brother, Kyle, have grown up knowing their Dad is a hero. Both are very active in community and school events, as they share their dad’s story while promoting organ donor awareness. It is difficult watching them grow up without their Dad, but we will always be proud and thankful for the love and legacy he left behind.
(Story shared by Donna Edwards, Michael’s mom.)