The family of a man killed in a car crash met some of the people whose lives he saved through organ donation.
Christopher Baucom died in February 2018. His memory and lifesaving gift was honored during a ceremony on Tuesday at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
Bobby Baucom remembers the kitchen conversation he had with his 24-year old son, Chris, a month before he died from injuries in a car crash in 2018.
"Chris made the comment once he was gone he wouldn't need them any longer,” Bobby recalled. “So why not let someone who needs them have them."
Eight months later, Chris' widow, Felisha, gave birth to their child, Benjamin. As an organ donor, Chris saved three lives and helped several others through eye and tissue donations.
Chris' family recently met two of those organ recipients.
"Even though we are grieving every single day of our loss of Chris, we are so happy to see that people have benefitted from his organs and his tissues,” Bobby said. “It really helps us to know that."
"It was real sweet, and real heartwarming. Literally heartwarming,” Felisha said. “It was a nice image of them getting to see Benjamin now that he's born."
"They were able to see that his gift to us has been able to lift up us and them to know that Chris lives on through me,” said Marty Munore, who received Chris’ liver.
"I'm not surprised to find out that he was a good person. A good, Godly guy,” said Nelda Leathem, who received Chris’ heart.
Dr. Goran Klintmalm oversees the Baylor transplant program. And after 40 years of helping to give life, he still gets emotional.
"These families who agree to donate a loved one’s organs, we should honor them,” he said. “They deserve to be honored."
"Let Chris' legacy spur us on to live lives that are committed to bringing life into every corner possible,” said Cindy Baucom, Chris’ mother. “Whether it be a smile, a kind word or deed or the ultimate gift of donated organs to preserve the lives of total strangers.”
April is National Donate Life Month. Nationwide, there are 110,000 people awaiting a lifesaving organ. About 10,000 of those people are right here in Texas.
One person's decision to donate could save up to eight lives and affect as many as 75 others through tissue donations.