The boy who saved thousands of lives

I am the father of seven-year old Nicholas Green, of Bodega Bay, California, who was shot in an attempted carjacking in Italy while we were driving on the main road south from Naples on a family vacation. My wife, Maggie, and I donated his organs and corneas, which went to seven Italians, four them teenagers, most of them close to death. In the next ten years, organ donation rates in Italy, which were then just about the lowest in Europe, tripled – a rate of increase no other country came close to – so that thousands of people are alive who would have died. All around the world his story brought people’s attention to the acute shortage of donated organs and became known as ‘the Nicholas Effect.’

In this blog I want to publicize the continuing ripples of this decision and to show that every year thousands of other people – just like us — make the same decision to donate organs rather than bury them. But I also I want to show that even at the worst of times, when the temptation to turn inward in grief and bitterness is almost irresistible, the human spirit burns brightly enough in people of every kind that instead of being consumed they reach out to complete strangers and — quite simply – snatch them from death.

I hope you will find it interesting, Reg Green

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