John Jorgenson’s son had just graduated from high school when he died of a traumatic brain injury. He was 18 years old.
“His internal organs were able to be transplanted. His heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas. So six people gained life through his donation,” Jorgenson said. “And through that my wife’s grieving, my wife’s and my grieving has become easier since we know he gave life to others. “
John worked as a paramedic for thirty years, so he’s seen how organ donation can impact families from every angle.
That’s why the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society invited him to speak at their organ donation forum at Western Iowa Tech.
The group hopes by showing people the positive impacts an organ donor can have, they can get more people to have the conversation about what can happen after their death.
“We hope to reach everyone out in the community and encourage them to become organ donors because we do have quite a bit of need not just around the world but here in Iowa,” said Kelly Mathison, a member of Phi Theta Kappa. “And we just want to be able to help those that are in need “
For John, it’s a story he shares despite how painful the memories are, all to keep his son’s memory alive.
“I just think it’s a neat opportunity to make people aware of the benefits of organ donation,” he said. “It’s important that the word gets out and my son’s story is one of those that can help promote life in the midst of tragedy.”