The first-grade classroom in a new primary school for gifted children in Catania, Sicily, has been named for Nicholas. The John Dewey Institute, which emphasizes linguistics and international studies, features his story as an example of creative ties between countries.
The principal, Professor Giuseppe Adernò, a tireless spokesman for organ donation, says “When the organs and corneas of this little American boy went to seven Italians it changed the entire attitude of the country to organ donation.”
Four of Nicholas’ seven recipients are Sicilian: the liver recipient who had a son after the transplant whom she named Nicholas; a kidney recipient, who was only 10 when he was transplanted; and two adults who were saved from blindness.
Professor Adernò was the principal of another school when Nicholas was killed 27 years ago. In the hallway of that school there were two clocks: one on Italian time, the other on California time, where Nicholas had lived, to remind the students every day that anyone, however small, could help others at any time.