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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

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For the week of February 27 - March 5, 2002


Tragedy’s triumph

Olympic snowboarder Chris Klug won a bronze medal in the parallel giant slalom competition. He did it with Billy Flood’s liver.

A friend shot the 13-year-old Flood in the eye at his grandmother’s home in Colorado in July 2000.

Klug, who suffered from a rare degenerative condition, received the dead boy’s liver. This would not have been possible without the donor family’s consent.

In the midst of sorrow, Flood’s family converted tragedy to triumph when it donated the slain boy’s organs.

Flood’s mother, Leisa, told reporters it upset her when nurses kept asking her about organ donation. Then she began to imagine others experiencing the same pain, and she realized her son’s organs could help them.

As it turned out, they would help more than she ever imagined.

With his remarkable performance, Klug became both an Olympic medalist and the world’s most famous advocate for organ donation.

After his win, he told anyone that would listen that 16 lives could be saved each day with transplants—if organs are available. This month alone, 79,406 people are waiting for transplants. Yet, lives are lost because it’s difficult to plan for our own deaths, and too painful to contemplate the deaths of loved ones.

The Wood River Valley sees the benefits of organ donation every day. Several valley residents are alive and well because others overcame their own reservations and pain to offer the gift of life.

It’s easier to plan for organ donation before disaster strikes. Sorrow can blind even those with humanitarian hearts¾until it’s too late.

Families should talk about organ donation. Adults should make the choice, carry a donor card, and make sure family members know their wishes.

Donor cards may be downloaded from www.organdonation.gov on the Internet. Drivers may list themselves as a donor on a driver’s license.

With planning, we can retrieve life from the jaws of death. Become a donor.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.