'He's living on:' Young man's donated organs saved 5 lives after tragic accident

MILWAUKEE -- April is Donate Life Month, and you are encouraged to join the Wisconsin Organ Donor Registry -- and save lives like Nick Smith did at the young age of 15.

Nick Smith

At 10:08 a.m. Monday, April 2, Becky Smith and her daughter raised a flag, with a photo of her late son, Nick Smith, sitting nearby.

Becky Smith

"Losing a child, who has their entire life ahead of them, is the most difficult thing to do," said Becky Smith. In June of 2017, Nick Smith died in a tragic accident. "We didn't have the choice to have Nick be running around, getting his license and graduating from high school. We didn't have that choice or opportunity, but we did have this choice," said Becky Smith. Nick Smith's heart, liver and kidneys were donated, and five lives were saved. He was also able to donate tissue, helping save and improve the lives of potentially 50 additional patients.

Anne Krueger

Anne Krueger is the director of organ and tissue at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. "There are, on average, 20 people dying every day while waiting for an organ transplant," said Krueger. Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list. Becky Smith said the loss of her young son has been overwhelming, but the chance to do good, even when you're gone, is something he would want others to consider.

Becky Smith

"Other people are living on and have those opportunities, and that he's living on in those individuals," said Becky Smith. Related resources: