Today, an eight-year-old boy is playing with his parents at their home in Louisiana. Three years ago, he was in a hospital bed, dying of kidney disease. A 51-year-old man has received a new heart, and can look forward to a long and healthy life with his wife and child. That was unlikely a few years ago. Two Tennessee senior citizens are enjoying the gift of restored vision. The lives of 50 others have been saved or dramatically improved through the transplantation of other organs and tissues such as bone and skin.
They can all thank 22-year-old Adam and his parents. Adam was killed in an automobile accident in 1998. “Adam’s life had ended, but to waste the opportunity to give life to other people would have been a sin,” says his father. “The hurt is deep, but these days we can acknowledge that some good has come out of this,” he explains. “This is a continuation of Adam’s life – that’s a source of solace for us.”
Even Adam seemed to agree. Among the condolences that poured in after his death was a letter from Adam’s philosophy instructor. Enclosed in the letter was a copy of Adam’s eerily prophetic final term paper. “I still have a desire to believe that ‘death’ is, in fact, not a death,” Adam wrote. “I will ultimately, somehow, remain alive.”