Healthbeat 4: Giving the gift of life - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Healthbeat 4: Giving the gift of life


It's been ten years since John Jorgensen and his wife lost their 18-year-old son Jesse.

"He was a kid who was happy go lucky who enjoyed life," said John Jorgensen, Jesse's Dad, "He was a freshman getting ready to start college football season going through football camp."

When the Jorgensen's got the phone call no parent wants.

"It was kind of a freak accident," said Jorgensen, "He fell off the back of a car, huge skull fracture, which let to brain damage an ultimately brain death." 

The family understood Jesse's fate and began the conversation with Iowa Donor Network.

However, on Jesse's driver's license he was not listed as an organ donor.

Although, John recalls a conversation he had with his son about donation ... 

"He went to get his driver's license, he talked to me about organ donation and ask what does that mean," said Jorgensen, "I said well it means if something happens to you if you would be brain dead would you want somebody else to have your organs and he said what good would they do me."

That's when the family began the process of organ donation for Jesse.

And while the process took roughly 36 hours from start to finish, Jorgensen says it was the most beneficial 36 hours.

"Being at my son's beside, being able to hold his hand being able to open his cell phone and listen to his music he loved," said Jorgensen, "So those things were healing for us."

Through his son's donation Jesse was able to save at least six lives and impact more than 80.

Now as the Donation Services Coordinator for Iowa Donor Network, Jorgensen can help other families choose the gift of life.

"Say yes to donation, those that are able to donate do and be able to carry on legacy of our loved one," said Jorgensen.

 And by helping other families choose donation, Jorgensen is able to know his son's life lives on.

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