Hit and run victim saves four lives - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hit and run victim saves four lives

WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A Mineola boy, who was killed in a hit and run crash last week, is already being credited for saving several lives. Jacob Burrell, 15, was killed last Tuesday night when he was walking home from karate class.  

Family members say Jacob was an organ donor, and this weekend, four of those organs were used in transplants, including his heart. Jacob's mother says it's a miracle in a tragedy.

"Whenever the heart surgeon removed Jacob's heart, he told the transplant team this is the most beautiful heart I've ever seen and if you ever knew him, you would know that was true," said Jamie Johnson, Jacob's mother.

Jacob's mother, Jamie, says she is able to find purpose in this tragedy knowing that Jacob's heart is beating right now in a 15-year-old Mississippi boy's chest.

"I would love to meet him. I would love to lay my head down on his chest and listen to Jacob's heart," she said.

Jacob was hit and killed less than a mile from his home. About a month before his death, they had a conversation about Jacob being an organ donor while getting his driver's permit. His decision gave life to four people by donating his heart, liver and his kidneys. At the hospital, she says they were scared his injuries would keep him from donating.

"We just got on our knees and my husband went to the transplant guy and he said get your team ready because we're going to start praying," she said.

Twelve hours later, Jacob was strong enough to donate. It's a gift she says that's helping her deal with her loss.

"I'm sad. I'm angry and I don't understand, but I don't really know enough information. I know that they didn't stop," said Jamie.

A person close to the criminal investigation into Jacob's death, says they have the truck that took Jacob's life. As of now, no arrests have been made.

But Jacob's mother chooses to focus on his life. The little things; how his friends called him G-I Jacob because camouflage is all he wore, his love for playing Jimi Hendrix on guitar, how he loved bacon so much, he even had a badge. But perhaps most importantly his deep rooted faith in the Lord.

"He's still alive. He's still alive in heaven," she said.

She says knowing that Jacob gave his life to four strangers helps ease the loss of her only son.

"Jacob always helped everybody. Jacob had a smile for everybody. He was very forgiving. He wanted to help everyone, so this is just kind like a last tribute to Jacob," she said.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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