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Nick, Organ Donor

Organ Donation Helped This Grieving Father Cope With a Heartbreaking Loss

John Bower says that knowing his son, Nicholas “Nick”, was an organ donor helps him cope with the heartbreaking loss. “Every morning when I get up, I know that his heart is still beating,” he said. “Losing someone like our son is really really tough. But knowing that he’s saving lives and that his organs are living on in someone else actually does make you feel better.” 

Bower’s son Nick died earlier this year at the age of 30 from a severe asthma attack. Asthma was something that Nick grew up with, and all of his life he fought the disease. And while he was unable to donate his lungs or liver, he was able to donate his heart, kidneys, and corneas to recipients, and his pancreas was donated for research purposes. Bower is also comforted knowing that his donated tissues could affect “hundreds” of people. 

 “We are so proud of him,” he said. “It hurts that he has passed, but I’m so proud of what he did by donating his organs to people.” Bower says that being an organ donor was absolutely what his son would have wanted because he was such a giving person. “When he signed up as a registered donor, he made sure to tell everybody that he knew that he wanted to be able to donate to help other people,” he added.

Nick’s family describes him as the most caring, loving, sweetest, do-anything-for-you kind of guy. “He worked for Lowe’s and donated a lot of his time to work with kids,” Bower said. “He would also volunteer to help with hurricane recovery by passing out waters or whatever they needed. He would go all over the country for Lowe’s helping out with those types of efforts.”

Now it’s Bower’s turn to carry Nick’s giving legacy on and educate others on both the importance of organ donation and taking a lung disease like asthma seriously. “Nick didn’t take his asthma seriously and I really want to be able to help more people understand its impact,” he said. “I want to talk to people who are considering becoming a registered organ donor and how important donation is. I really believe that’s what God wants me to do.”

Bower feels unwavering gratitude for the gift of extra life that the recipients have been granted by his remarkable son, Nick. And he welcomes every opportunity to continue the discussion – and celebrate Nick’s legacy – along the way. 

It goes without saying that if another family is faced with the decision to donate, Bower recommends extending the gift of life without hesitation. “Please do it,” he said. “Whoever you’re losing can live on in someone else. And maybe you’ll get the chance to meet that person and hear your son’s heartbeat again like we will. Your loved one is saving someone who is praying for a miracle and that might not have a chance to live without their help.” 

If you’d like the opportunity to give the selfless gift of life, register to become an organ donor and add your name to the donor registry.

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More than 100,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant. Transplants rely on the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors, and there are not enough donors to meet the need. You can help.