Teenager who passed away after swimming accident donates organs to Hoosiers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 12, 2014) — One of the Franklin teenagers who was swept under the waters of the Big Blue River last week is saving other Hoosier lives through organ donation. Michael Chadbourne passed away after spending days in critical condition at IU Health Methodist Hospital. The 16-year-old’s family chose to uphold his wishes of being an organ donor.

Chadbourne’s heart was donated to a 14-year-old boy in Iowa. His lungs went to an Indiana woman in her 50s and his liver, pancreas and intestine went to an Indiana man. He also donated his kidney. Those donations will give four people a second chance at life, said officials with the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization.

“That is so encouraging when you can see families rise above that tragedy and you can see them say, something horrible has happened, I’m devastated by the loss of my loved one but I’m going to make something positive come out of this situation,” said Courtney Tillotta with IOPO.

Each day, 18 people die waiting for a life-saving organ or tissue transplant, according to research from IOPO and the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization. In Indiana, more than 1,500 people are on the waiting list.

Tillotta said it’s important to speak with your family first about your wishes. People interested in donating can do so when they get a driver’s license through the BMV or online through IOPO.

“As recipients, all we can really say is ‘thank you’ because of them we’re here to continue our lives, to see our children grow, our grandchildren grow, and give back to wonderful organizations like IOPO that make it all possible,”said recent lung transplant recipient Lance Lewis. Lewis received the lungs of fallen IMPD officer David Moore in 2011.

Franklin Community High School is planning on holding calling  hours for Chadbourne Friday, June 13th from 2-7 p.m. Principal Doug Harter said he was working with the family to decide on any further memorial service plans.

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