by Kim Leugers, Bud’s Mom (Donor Family)
Roger Lee (Bud) Leugers, II 4/16/84- 9/26/02
Bud was in a bad accident September 25, 2002. He was unconscious when they arrived at the scene. They had to put him on life support and life flighted him to St. Rita’s Trauma Center.
When we arrived at the hospital the doctor told us he had a lot of swelling of the brain and he was in a coma. When we finally got in to see him he was in ICU. They needed to get him to surgery due to internal bleeding. He was in surgery for four hours to remove his spleen, repair tendons in his left hand and a fracture in his right ankle. Later that evening, his blood pressure went sky high, and they told us his brain was starting to die at the brain stem and that he would be gone in just a couple of hours. We stayed by his bedside and prayed to God for a miracle that our son would pull through this.
On September 26, 2002, they told us they needed to do an EKG to see if there was any brain function. After the test they told us he was legally brain dead. At that point, we decided to donate his organs since he was a healthy and strong young man. Then we found out that he had also wanted to be a donor too. We stayed by his side until they found matches for his organs. He was able to donate his BIG Golden heart, a lung, pancreas, kidneys, liver, and both eyes. He could not donate tissues and a lung due to the trauma.
Bud was always a good boy. He was shy until he got to know a person. He loved to pick and tease. I remember when he was about four years old, he was a little farm boy. He loved to spit. I would tell him not to spit and he would say, “Mommy, boys spit, not girls.” His older sisters Pammy and Jenny always picked on him when he was little and he would get mad and cry. I told them someday he would grow up and be bigger than them. And that he did. He stood six feet tall and weighed 175, and he was rock solid. Everyone that met him would always comment on his beautiful smile and how polite he was.
His dad was a dog racer when I met him, but he quit. When Bud was ten years old, his dad took him to a race and he was hooked. He has his room full of plaques that he won at the races. In 1996, he was awarded with “Sportsmanship of the Year.” That made him a very proud young man. He and his dad went to the races just about every weekend; spring through fall. They were best friends.
He liked to play sports. At the age of four, he began to play T-ball. In middle school, he started playing basketball and football. When he turned sixteen, he got his license and found out he enjoyed to work. His first job was roofing. He roofed all summer.
Bud and his dad got matching trucks. The only difference was the color. Bud’s truck was a white sports truck he called his “chick magnet” and his dad’s was black and he called it “a grampy truck.” He loved his truck and he would wash, wax and polish it every chance he got.
His last two years in high school he went to JVS to be an electrician. He just enjoyed doing that on the side for different people. After he graduated, he went to work building silos out of state. But every weekend he would drive home to spend time with his family and friends. Finally he got hired at his dream job: a construction worker at a big firm in our area. Ten days later he had his wreck on the way to work early that morning in the truck he loved so much.
I never thought I could go on living if I lost one of my babies, but I just keep thinking, he is in Heaven with Big angel wings. He was the best son any parent could have dreamed of having. I just think of the “Gift of Life” that he gave to the six recipients out there that got a second chance at life, and it makes us very proud of him for being such a giving young man that he is. I am so glad that he gave the “Gift of Life” so those families out there don’t have to stand in our shoes and can live healthy lives. He always wanted us to be proud and even after death, we are very proud of him.
Our dream is to meet each and every one of the recipients that he gave the “Gift of Life,” but most of all, the recipient who received that Big Golden Heart of his. But just remember each and every one of you are always in our thoughts and prayers.
He had four nephews, a niece, and a Godson, and we will always keep his memories alive so they will think he didn’t leave us when they were so little.
Some days it seems like a nightmare and I will wake up and he will be home. Then I know that’s not true because of the empty feeling I have in my heart. The day I get to Heaven, I hope my son will be waiting for me at the big golden gate. Until that day, I will always hold him in my heart and I will keep his memories alive.
Missing the wonderful, loving guy with that big beautiful smile.