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Donor Stories

Honoring Kyle

Kyle Dodson: August 11, 1991 ~ December 30, 2000

It was four days after Christmas with fresh fallen snow on the ground as four boys scrambled out the door pulling on coats, boots and gloves. They were headed outside for a fun day of sled riding, snowman building and snowball fights.

The four boys included my 2 sons, Ryan (13) and Kyle (7) Dodson, and their best friends David Bash (13) and Cole Cameron (7). They had all received new sleds for Christmas and couldn’t wait to try them out on the hill outside our home. They had all been down the hill several times and were having great fun as kids do. It was one of the most ordinary things a child can do and as my husband, Jeff and I peaked out the window every now and then, we couldn’t help but smile with a parent’s joy to see the boys having a wonderful time.

But, that joy turned to terror when one of the boys ran to the door in a panic saying Kyle had hit the trailer. Kyle had gotten turned around as he came down the hill and didn’t realize he had gone far off the path. His head struck a steel trailer and he was immediately unconscious. Kyle was rushed to the local hospital, put on life support and then Life-Flighted to Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Kyle never regained consciousness and was declared brain dead the next day.

A friend suggested that we donate his organs and we immediately knew it was what we wanted to do. We had followed the progress of a local young man, Adam Burkhart, who was in dire need a heart transplant, in a series of articles in our newspaper. Adam’s story touched us very deeply, as we knew most of his extended family from church. We knew after reading the articles about Adam that we would be donors . . . never expecting that we would have to make that choice about one of our children. Thanks to Adam, The Times Recorder in Zanesville and Lifeline of Ohio, one of the most important decisions we ever had to make, was a little bit easier.

Kyle was a fun loving, caring 7-year-old boy who loved people and would do anything he could for anyone he met. We can’t think of a better way to honor Kyle than to give part of him to someone in great need so they will have a second chance in life.

Kyle donated his kidneys, pancreas, and liver to three people. His eyes were donated to the eye bank for a vital research project at Ohio State University. Our Family is a strong advocate of organ donation and plan to be active supporters in future years as we adjust to our loss. Our niece Tracy is already an active volunteer at Lifeline of Ohio helping in the effort to educate about this life-giving subject, and as a way to honor and remember Kyle.

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