After Her Son's Organs Saved 4 People's Lives, Devastated Mom Offers Fresh Perspective
Before Jamie took her son to the DMV to apply for his learner's permit, she had an important conversation with him.
The Texas mom had the talk with her 15-year-old boy that no parent ever wants to think about — asking if he wanted to be an organ donor in the event of his death. Although this was just a practical chat in preparation for making the decision on his driver's license, just eight weeks later, Jacob was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Jamie respected her son's choice and shared her experience witnessing Jacob's organs save four lives on Frank Somerville's Facebook page. One of the people Jacob saved was a fellow 15-year-old boy, who received his heart, and Jamie had the chance to meet him. "I laid my head on his chest and could hear Jacob's heart beat," Jamie wrote. "All of these guys had a lot of survivor's guilt. They do not understand why they get to survive and Jacob had to die. I have reassured them all this is what Jacob would want."
Jacob dreamed of being a hero, and although his life was cut short, his mom takes comfort in knowing that he ultimately became the hero that he always wanted to be. "The greatest hero they never met is the organ donor that saved their life!" Jamie wrote.
When it came time to prosecute the woman who hit and killed Jacob, Jamie said that the woman had hired a powerful defense attorney who was determined to drag the case out "until people forgot who Jacob was." Instead of continuing the fight, Jamie made a surprising decision. She asked the judge to give her probation for one personal reason: so the case could finally be over and she could get his possessions back that were kept as evidence.
While it was devastating to receive the clothing he was wearing — down to the gum wrapper he had in his pocket — it was exactly what this grieving mom needed. "As bad as all this sounds there has been so much light and positives in the midst of the worst days of my life," Jamie said. "Jacob will never know how his decision three years ago ended up saving four lives. But fortunately everyone else will."