Kelly Thrash

My son, Kelly Thrash, became an organ donor on April 25, 2004. That was the day that his life and mine ended but through this gift, others had the chance to live again.

Kelly was "my heart” I use to tell him and at 18, full of life and quick with a big smile. I have been signed up to be an organ donor for years and as a nurse, I had explained to him how important it was to the many others that were waiting for that chance at life. I’ll never forget him getting his new driver’s license on his 18th birthday, he was so proud of that little red heart. He said he had a license to save lives. We never dreamed it would only be 2 ½ months before his "license” would be used.

Let me tell you a little about my Kelly—He and I were very close, he worried over me a lot but it had always been just him and I since he was just a baby when his father and I divorced. He grew up just fine with the help of my parents and my brothers.

He was a big, tall blond kid with an infectious laugh, a smile that could light up a room and a love for animals and life in general. He wasn’t a saint nor perfect but he tried hard, he didn’t want to disappoint me. He was working and going to school in the evening to get his GED.

He and his girlfriend had a small apartment and he loved to play on his Playstation or watch horror movies. We were both big horror movie fans. As a matter of fact, on the night of Kelly’s death, we had spoken a few hours earlier and made plans for the next day to watch a new "scary show” he had gotten. You know, I have that DVD from his apartment on my coffee table but I just can’t watch it, not yet.

When the accident happened and after I learned that Kelly would not live, the call to LOPA was the first thing that was done. It gave me a great sense of peace and comfort to know that although my Kelly was gone, he would still live on in others.

That is why Kelly is my hero. I am so proud that my son was so full of life and love that he was able to share himself with others and I want to share his story. Thank you to all the wonderful LOPA staff that has made this tribute possible and for everything you have done to help a broken heart heal.

Debi Fontenot