Family, organ recipients honor one-year anniversary of donor’s death

JONESBORO, Ark.  – Saturday marked one year since 25-year-old Hunter Keiter passed away, but through organ donation, Hunter was able to save the lives of five other people.

Family, friends, and some recipients came together on Saturday to remember Hunter and honor the heroic decision he made to donate his organs.

Hunter Keiter passed away on March 7, 2019.

His mother, Roxanne Gilley, made the decision to take him off of life support.

“When they realized they couldn’t do anything else with our son, they asked me what I wanted to do if we wanted to do an organ donation and I said yes,” said Gilley.

It was a difficult decision, but one she later found Hunter had made himself.

Hunter was listed as an organ donor on his driver’s license.

“We have approximately 113,000 people that are waiting nationwide for a lifesaving organ transplant,” said Mosely. “Of those, 22 people die every day because the organ that they need does not become available.”

Hunter was able to save the lives of five other people through his donation.

Three of those recipients were there Saturday, to say thank you to Roxanne and Hunter’s family.

Tony Fishback received his liver, Kevin Adams received his pancreas and kidney, and Charles Ahumada received his heart.

“You can’t take that with you. Where you’re going you don’t need your heart, you don’t need your liver, and if someone else can benefit,” said Gilley.

All five of the recipients have reached out to Gilley, thanking her for Hunter’s gift.

“The hardest thing is that somebody had to give their life and donate, you know, the organs for us to live,” said Fishback.

None of the recipients have had any complications so far with their transplants.

“We really just want to let them know how grateful we really are,” said Adams.

And none of the recipients will forget the sacrifice Hunter’s family made, to help save their lives.

“His passing was not going to waste and I do appreciate everything that has been given to me,” said Ahumada.

Gilley said knowing Hunter was able to help save others through organ donation has made this year a little easier.

“It helps in your moment of sadness to know that these men and women are getting another chance at life,” said Gilley.

Mid-America Transplant serves the Northeast Arkansas area, you can register with them or learn more about organ donation on their website here.

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