15-year-old saves three lives - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

15-year-old saves three lives

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) -

"I was told there was nothing else they could do and just my next thought was, 'what good could come out of this?',"asked Jamie Johnson.

Johnson lost her son Jacob Burrell in October after he was hit by a vehicle while walking home from karate class in Mineola. Monday would have been Jacob's 16th birthday.

"I think he is very happy and satisfied with the way we are celebrating his life birthday today," Johnson said.

Although Jacob is gone, three others are alive because of him.

"On the way to the motor vehicle place I said, 'Jacob, there's a question on here that asks if you want to be an organ donor,'" said Johnson. 

She tells us Jacob looked at her and said, " What does that mean mom? Don't I need my organs right now to survive?"

"We kind of laughed about it and I said, 'Not right now son, but if something happened to you would you want your organs to be given to people that could have a second chance?' He said, 'I don't think I would need them by then mom; I think that would be good," explained Johnson.

That decision saved David Reeder's life.  

"Well I'm 49 and yeah I would like to see my grandkids grown like everybody else, but the fact of the matter is that I've had a pretty good long life and he hadn't," said Reeder.

Reeder received one of Jacob's kidneys. He says he's grateful to be alive, but finds it hard to rejoice knowing Jacob is no longer here.

"I don't know what he would have ended up being, but I'm sure it would have been special," said Reeder.

Jacob's family had the opportunity to meet two of the recipients...something his mother says couldn't be more fitting.

"I think Jacob would have just handpicked them," said Johnson with a smile on her face.

After researching organ donations, Johnson learned just how many people are waiting for a donation. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 112,645 people are waiting for an organ.

Jamie's goal was to encourage people to make the same decision that her son did.

Jacob's friend Rhett Self said it is amazing that Jacob was able to save lives even after death and that's something he wants to be able to do. Self signed up to be an organ donor Monday evening along with several other classmates.

"This might be my opportunity to do that (save a life) and it really encouraged me to sign up," said Self.

If you would like to sign up to become a donor, click here.

Jacob's family says this is the best tribute to their son's life.

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