ATLANTA — It is one of the most excruciating things a parent could ever go through – losing a child.
One Atlanta family turned that tragedy into a way to help others live through organ donation.
Doctors and nurses lined the hallway as Moe Dominguez, 22, was wheeled into the operating room at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, where his organs would be removed to help save others' lives.
They watched in silence and paid tribute to the young man while the hospital rallied around the Dominguez family as they said goodbye to their son.
"That was overwhelming, having to say the final goodbye and know that was it," mother Fiona Dominguez told Channel 2's Linda Stouffer.
An accident led to the sudden brain death of her son, Moe.
“He just made life fun. He was always wanting to be adventurous and go places and do things. I’m just lucky I was his mom, and it was an honor to be his mom,” Fiona Dominguez said.
When his mom and dad realized there was no hope for Moe’s recovery, they learned about hope for other patients.
His family knew what Moe would want to do.
“His heart was donated, (along with) his lungs, his kidneys, his pancreas and his eyes,” Fiona Dominguez said.
“Knowing that since he helped people his whole life, his final doing was helping other people,” Moe's brother, Sean Dominguez, said.
For every family walking the halls of a hospital in the same difficult situation as the Dominguez family, there are thousands of patients on an organ donor waiting list.
“In Georgia, we have over 5,000 people waiting for solid organ transplants,” said transplant nephrologist Dr. Christina Klein, with Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.
Klein told Stouffer that just one donor can potentially save eight lives.
“We want loved ones to live on through the lives of somebody else,” Klein said.
Once it was time for Moe to give his organs, the hospital spread word about the honor walk toward the operating room.
Nurses, doctors, techs and even strangers lined the hall in silence for the family's tremendous loss and in gratitude for their priceless gifts.
“I felt like at that moment, they were all family,” Fiona Dominguez said.
Fiona Dominguez said she hopes to meet the recipients of her son's organs some day.
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