Brian Matthew DeBoer was a freshman at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. on a four-year Presidential Scholarship. Brian was studying business, but was also very interested in film production and planned to pursue his interest in that area. Between classes, Brian worked part time as a bank teller, and in his spare time, he loved to go camping, take hikes, work on his new car and spend time with friends.
His bright future suddenly dimmed in April 2000, when 18-year-old Brian was declared brain dead from injuries resulting from a car accident. “When we were approached in the hospital and asked about donating Brian’s organs and tissue, it was an easy decision for the family to make,” said his sister Brenda DeBoer. “Brian had expressed his feelings to us, his friends, and on his donor card about wanting to be an organ donor. We knew we had to honor his wish.”
The DeBoers were thrilled to receive contact from the recipients of Brian’s liver and heart. The first sent a heartwarming letter that called Brian a hero and a man of vision and great compassion.
They actually met his heart recipient. “It was a joy and a blessing to hear his personal story of how receiving a new heart had changed his life,” said Brenda. “It was awesome to be able to feel and hear Brian’s heart still beating, bringing someone else the joy and gift of life. It was a special moment that won’t be forgotten. Coincidently, he was also someone who chose a career in film production and directing.
“Brian’s choice to be an organ donor has given new meaning to his death and has helped us in the long healing process. We will always be proud of Brian, in life and in death. His legacy will never be forgotten.”