Granger Smith’s Wife Reveals That Their 3-Year-Old Son Saved Two Lives With Organ Donation

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Amber Smith/Instagram

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Country singer Granger Smith and his wife suffered a devastating loss in early June when their 3-year-old son, River, died in a “tragic accident.” River, the youngest of the couple’s three children, passed away after drowning in the family’s swimming pool.

“We’ve lost our youngest son, River Kelly Smith. Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived. Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life,” Granger wrote on Instagram. “Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father.’

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Now, Smith’s wife Amber has revealed that River was able to save two lives with the donation of his organs. She opened up about the decision on Instagram, calling it “one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made.”

“When 3 different neuro specialists told us that River had 0% chance of brain recovery (yes 0, not 10 or 1%, 0) after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others? His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something. There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives,” Amber wrote.
But, the process of organ donation isn’t an easy one. It sometimes takes days for a recipient to be matched, so the doctor’s tried to expedite the process so the Smith’s could be “in peace.” They took River back to operate the following morning so they could start the organ donation process.
“I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood. The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the ‘walk of honor.’  We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone,” Amber said.
Granger and Amber later found out that their “tiny, red-headed hero” saved the lives of two adults: A 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old-man.

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I’ve always known I wanted to be a donor if anything were to ever happen to me. I just felt that if I had viable organs, why would I go into the ground with them? My spirit would be in Heaven, so why not save a life if I could? Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby. When 3 different neuro specialists told us that River had 0% chance of brain recovery (yes 0, not 10 or 1%, 0) after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others? His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something. There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives. The doctors said donation was quite a process. We would have to search for viable recipients and it could take days. We knew River’s spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn’t bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for 3 or more more days while they searched. They tried to expedite the process so our family could be in peace, told us they would take him back to operate the next morning, but we wouldn’t know what organs could be used until after. With such a small body, organs had to be measured physically, not just by X-ray. I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood. The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the “walk of honor”. We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone. Granger and I held each other and cried. We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults. A 49 year old woman and a 53 year old man. I cried when we opened it. Cried out of sadness & cried out of love. I’m so proud to be River’s mama and I’m so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible 3 years. I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made. There are over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting. Go to OrganDonor.gov to see how you can help give life as well. ❤️

A post shared by Amber Smith (@amberemilysmith) on

Watch the touching video tribute Granger and Amber Smith made to honor their son below.

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