On July 4, 2012, Caleb went to a friend’s to swim and celebrate the Fourth of July, where an incident occurred in the pool. Paramedics rushed Caleb to Vanderbilt where the doctors determined he suffered a cervical spinal fracture and that his breathing had stopped at the time of the injury.
They monitored Caleb for the next several days hoping he would wake up without any brain damage. However, it soon became apparent that the Caleb we knew was not to return. We prayed for God to wake Caleb up or take him home. On July 9, Caleb declined to brain death.
Even as God took Caleb home to live with Him, He continued to show His love to us through our family, friends, and church. We were never alone; people came, sat, and prayed with us at the hospital—and they visited us at home. The text messages, cards, Facebook messages, and phone calls let us know people loved us and were praying for us, bringing us so much peace during this difficult time.
Donation is something that has been discussed in our home because of Becky’s work with DCI Donor Services Tissue Bank, so when Caleb received his driver’s license, he made the decision to say “yes” to becoming a donor. It gives us comfort knowing that his final decision was one that would help so many people. Caleb’s gracious gift saved the lives of three people and improved the quality of life for over 50 more with the gift of cornea, skin, and bone and soft tissue.
Caleb has two older brothers, Bryan and Matthew, and a younger sister Kirsten. He was about to start his senior year at Creek Wood High School where he was known for his bear hugs and making everyone laugh. He was active with the Clay Gunners shooting team and was finishing his Boy Scout Eagle Project. Caleb was also active with St. John Youth Squad and volunteered yearly at Vacation Bible School.