April is National Donate Life Month - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

April is National Donate Life Month

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When Clayton Seachrist was killed in a car accident, his family honored his wishes to be an organ donor. When Clayton Seachrist was killed in a car accident, his family honored his wishes to be an organ donor.

The loss of a loved one is never easy, but their life can continue to be a gift long after they're gone.  April is National Donate Life Month, and it's a reminder of what a precious gift you have the opportunity to give.  

Ann Seachrist can still picture her son Clayton's curly hair.  As much of a jokester as he was, she says he made a serious and important decision at the age of 16.  When he got his driver's license, Clayton decided to become an organ donor.

A short time later, Clayton was killed in a car accident.  His family honored his wishes.  When Clayton died, 43 people benefited from his organs.  His heart went to a ballet teacher who still teaches dance 17 years later.  

"Clayton was going to die—we could not change that," said his mother.  "We could change the fact that if he donated his organs, other people could live."

Those who benefit from organ donation include people like Joe Persichietti, Sr., who by the age of 47 had three heart attacks and eight bypass surgeries.  The father of five had developed congestive heart failure, and only a heart transplant would save him.  He waited on a transplant list for months before finally getting the call.

Persichietti still has no idea who donated their heart so he can live, but it's a gift he and his family will always treasure.

You can be a partial or total donor, and up to 60 people can benefit from your organs or tissue.  Whatever you decide, just make sure your family is aware of your wishes.  

To sign up to donate or to get more information, click here for a link to Donate Life Georgia.

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