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Young man's legacy lives on through gift of organ donation
Posted on Apr. 17, 2013 (
By LifeCenter Northwest
April is National Donate Life Month, a time to commemorate those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving organ, eye and tissue transplants. More than 2,000 people in the state of Washington and 115,000 people in the United States are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides many others with active and renewed lives. Here’s one story of how this happened at MultiCare:
In Alex Capperauld’s short life, he made an amazing impact on others. Alex loved just about everything– from school to his dog Pete to singing and dancing and most especially bubbles. He brought joy to each day.
Alex was born on January 27, 1988 in Tacoma, Wash., and upon birth was diagnosed with a condition known as “hydrocephalus”—an excessive build-up of cerebral spinal fluid. His subsequent medical treatment yielded success in alleviating some of the condition, but ultimately Alex only had 2/3 the amount of normal brain tissue. Throughout his life Alex was always surrounded by tireless love from his mother Vicki, father Andy and stepmother, Tami.
At 20-years-old he experienced complications related to his condition and was admitted to MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. Unfortunately, Alex’s life was cut short, but a timely referral by the ICU staff, and close collaboration with LifeCenter Northwest allowed Alex to give the Gift of Life to five recipients who received his heart, lungs, liver and both kidneys.
Just months before Alex died, Prisciliano Ponce was put on the heart transplant waiting list and hospitalized at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Because of Alex, Prisciliano is able to spend time with his wife, nine children and 22 grandchildren in Yakima.
Through the support of LifeCenter Northwest, Alex’s family met several of his recipients including Prisciliano and 15 of his family members. The outpouring of affection touched the Capperauld’s.
“The process of meeting Alex’s recipients was one that turned the pain switch off and the pride switch on,” said his dad, Andy. “I went from missing him terribly to missing him wonderfully.”