Young boy saves five lives through organ donation 

Back row (left to right): David McCarthy, Lisa McCarthy and Brandon McCarthy; Front row (left to right): Brodie McCarthy and Justin McCarthy

Lisa McCarthy is encouraging others to become registered organ donors after their family's decision to donate her son’s organs saved the lives of five other people.

Lisa’s 18-year-old son, Brodie passed away in May 2018 after a fatal rugby accident just one month before he was set to graduate from Montague Regional High School.

Brodie was playing in a rugby tournament at Three Oaks Senior High School when he suffered a head injury. He was taken to the Prince County Hospital in Summerside before getting transferred to Moncton for surgery and later put on life support. 

“After being informed that we had lost our son, we were approached by a doctor who asked if we had ever thought about organ donation, and if we might be interested in donating Brodie’s organs.”

image of young man

Lisa had a conversation with her husband, David and their two sons, Brandon and Justin, and they knew immediately that it was something Brodie would have wanted to do.  “I thought, if we can’t have our son, then I want to save someone else’s son or daughter, or mother or father,” she says. 

Five lives were saved by the decision to donate Brodie’s organs. His heart went to an 11-year old girl, his lungs went to a 47 year-old woman, his kidneys went to a 13 year-old girl and a 34 year-old man, and his liver and pancreas vessels went to a boy Brodie’s age.

After Brodie passed away, many other Islanders were inspired to become registered organ donors.  Lisa wants to continue her son’s legacy by encouraging more people to register, and have the conversation with family and friends. 

Lisa says it’s important for families to have discussions and the information they need about organ donation before they are faced with losing a loved one.  At that moment, the confusion, uncertainty and grief they are feeling may make it difficult to understand what they are being asked.

“Even if you do sign up to become an organ donor, you have to die in a very specific way for your organs to be donated. I don't know if people realize that it’s one of those situations where all the stars have to align. Not everyone who dies has the opportunity to save lives so it’s really important that you have those conversations so that family and friends can fulfill your wishes.” 

- Lisa McCarthy

“While we were at the hospital we had some really great nurses who were very happy to help us in any way. One nurse got us a doppler so we could record Brodie’s heart beat and another let me cut a lock of his hair to keep. We were very fortunate to have the time with Brodie before we had to say goodbye. I'm very thankful.”

To learn more about how you can become an organ donor and save lives, visit: Organ and Tissue Donation.

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