Mom mourning young son shares his life with others through organ donation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Mom mourning young son shares his life with others through organ donation

Their paths crossed through terrible circumstances - an east Texas mother mourning her 11 year old son's mysterious death, and 2 parents, also facing the possibility of burying their child.

Now, we'll take you through the painful journey of these 2 families, which may now help save several lives.


From her brother's front porch in Gladewater, Tammy Roberts remembers her son Alex, who at age 11, died too young.

"I didn't think it was supposed to end like that. you see your kids growing up, you don't see them dying before you."

Making it worse, is the way he died.

"I found him hanging in my barn. He was hanging from a dog leash."

Ms. Roberts can't bring herself to return to her home house outside of Gilmer where it happened. She suspects foul play, but with no evidence to prove it, she expects the Sheriff to rule the death a suicide.

"At the hospital, when they come in and told me he was brain dead. That's the hardest part I ever had to face."

The week before Alex died, another little boy was at Children's Medical Center, fighting for his life.

Colton Pfeifer has spent his entire short life in and out of hospitals, born with a bad liver. He got a transplant at age 2, but it's failing, leaving doctors unsure he'd make it to age 6.

"When we went in for the evaluation, they told us Colton needed to be transplanted a month ago."

Tammy roberts didn't know about Colton. But she desperately wanted something good to come from her son's death.

"To see him die, and everything go to waste, that would have been losing everything."

So on the most difficult day in her life, along with her ex-husband, she made a difficult choice - to donate Alex's organs.

"The way it is now, somebody else will have a chance to just continue on, and a part of him will always live."

One of those people is Colton Pfeifer. He received Alex's liver on his sixth birthday. His parents say there are no words to express their gratitude.

"What they did is they saved our child's life. That's plain and simple. If they wouldn't have made the choice to donate their son's liver our son wouldn't be with us today," said Stephanie Pfeifer, Colton's mom.

And Colton isn't the only one. Alex's kidneys went to 2 different people, his lungs to a third. They stored his heart valves, so as many as five people may live because of him. On her brother's porch, these lives give a grieving mother peace.

"I'm kind of excited. We got 1 child, now maybe 4 more. That's the way you gotta look at it. As long as our DNA was a part of our son, then it's a part of somebody else, so instead of losing a child, we gained four kids. We didn't lose," says Roberts. 

For Tammy Roberts, every step Colton takes is an extension of Alex's life.

Story courtesy of WFAA.

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