Wayne "Lil Wayne" Gomez and James Graugnard
A Miraculous Bond Between Two Families...
In February 1999, Monique Graugnard and Dean Standridge were married. They both came from close Southern families and both families grew to know each other very well. They never dreamed that their families would someday have a miraculous link to each other.
In 2001, it was confirmed that James Graugnard, Monique's father was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. His physicians believed that he acquired it from numerous blood transfusions years before after suffering from a brain aneurysm. He was close to death but remarkably survived and was left with dealing with a damaged liver. Eventually the Hepatitis C took its toll on his liver and he was put on the list for a liver transplant.
Sadly, on March 9, 2002, "Lil Wayne” Gomez, who was Dean's first cousin lost his life at only 16 years old. His parents were devastated with what they were now facing, saying goodbye to their precious son. Monique and Dean were at the hospital supporting Dean's Aunt and Uncle when the question of organ donation was brought up. Wayne and Ava Gomez, without hesitation mentioned Monique's father to the physicians and inquired about a direct donation of his liver.
They indeed were able to donate Lil Wayne's liver directly to Monique's father and that is where the miracle began. He was also able to save and enhance several other lives in organ donation.
It has been 6 years since James Graugnard received another chance at life from "Lil Wayne” and his selfless family. His wife, Carolyn and his children and grandchildren have gotten 6 more years with him because of this incredible gift. There is not a day that goes by that we are not all reminded and thankful for this donation.
Lil Wayne's parents and 2 sisters expressed that they wanted his story shared in hopes to somehow reach others and help families deal with loss. Organ donation is an extraordinary gift that is a true miracle.
"Somehow, just knowing that a part of our loved one still survives within another, is somewhat a comfort. At least it is to me.” -Ava Gomez