AUSTIN, Texas - Country singer Granger Smith’s wife revealed on Saturday that their son’s donated organs helped save the lives of two people after the boy died in a “tragic accident” last month.
Smith’s wife, Amber, wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday that they decided to help others after their 3-year-old son, River, accidentally drowned at their home in Texas, calling it “one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions” the couple has ever made.
She noted that there are “over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting.”
“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?” Amber Smith wrote. “Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby.”
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. ❤️
She said that when three different neuro specialists told them that River had “0% chance of brain recovery” and after the shock and reality set in she 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,” she continued. “There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives.”
Amber Smith wrote that they found out their “tiny, red-headed hero” gave life to a 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man.
She also wrote that when she opened the letter, revealing that River helped save the lives of two people she “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,” she wrote.
I have to deliver unthinkable news. We’ve lost our youngest son, River Kelly Smith. Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived. Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life. Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father. Riv was special. Everyone that met him knew that immediately. The joy he brought to our lives cannot be expressed and his light will be forever in our hearts. If there are words to say more, I cannot find them in this moment. Love the ones close to you. There has never been a more difficult moment for us than this. . . In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send donations to Dell Children’s Medical Center in River’s name. The doctors, nurses and staff have been incredible.
In a YouTube video posted by the couple in June, Granger Smith shed some light on what happened to their son.
The “Backroad Song” crooner said he was doing gymnastics with his 7-year-old daughter, London, as his sons, River and Lincoln Monarch, 5, were playing with water guns.
The star said he found himself performing CPR by their pool just minutes later.
“I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv,” Amber Smith wrote in the Instagram post.
The couple also donated more than $218,000 to Dell Children’s Medical Center, the hospital that treated River before he died, People reported, adding that the donation was in honor of their son and the work doctors did to comfort them throughout the tragic ordeal.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.