The organ donor recipient of a boy who tragically died aged 18 attended their donor’s younger sibling’s graduation so their brother “could be there with him”.
Eugene, known as ‘Bubba’ by his family, was just 18-years-old when he passed away due to a vehicle accident in November 2020.
But he checked the box on his driver’s license allowing his family to donate his organs, a request they respected and immediately followed through on.
Two years later, Eugene’s younger brother Christopher, 18, was getting ready to graduate from Panama High School in Oklahoma on May 10, 2022, and his aunt Brittany had an idea.
As she regularly contacts Eugene’s organ recipient, Johnelia, she asked whether she would be interested in coming to the graduation as a surprise.
Johnelia immediately accepted the invite and the pair worked on making the surprise a reality.
On the day of the graduation, as Christopher walked across stage, he looked out at his family and spotted Johnelia and revealed he knew exactly who it was right away despite meeting for the very first time – before giving her an emotional hug on his way off the stage.
Eugene, known as Bubba, didn’t get to graduate himself because of COVID, and so initially Christopher had planned to carry a photo of his brother across the stage.
But when Brittany found out about this loving gesture, she decided to get in touch with the only one of Bubba’s organ recipients that the family knew of.
Johnelia wore a t-shirt with green writing that said she was wearing such colors for Bubba, the organ donor who helped save her.
Christopher said: “There was no hesitation, no thought, no nothing – instantly I knew who it was.
“I have never felt so much joy it just felt like I was on top of the world.”
Story courtesy of T&T Creative Media.