Born and raised in Montana, Bronson Parsons was an avid outdoorsman who loved snowboarding, hunting, fishing, hiking, cliff diving, bungee jumping and skydiving. He had nearly completed his pilot’s license and hoped to fly helicopters, but on January 1, 2008, 25-year-old Bronson was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking with a friend along the shoulder of a highway. He never regained consciousness.
As a registered organ, eye, and tissue donor, Bronson had told his parents that if anything happened to him, he wanted to donate to help other people. He had been profoundly influenced by a close family friend who had donated a kidney to her 17-year-old daughter. Bronson’s precious gifts were given to six people waiting for a second chance at life.
“We have tried to use Bronson’s decision to be a donor as a positive focus for our own healing from this tragic loss. It was his nature to think of others,” noted his mother, Carol. “Our family will always miss Bronson, but we can take pride and some comfort knowing he lives on by helping the people he donated to. It is characteristic of him and the way he lived life to the fullest. He was adventurous, fearless, audacious, fun, and loyal. He was a wonderful son, mischievous brother, loving uncle and trustworthy friend.”
The family has been in touch with two of Bronson’s organ recipients. “We have read their letters over and over and treasured their phone conversations. This tangible reminder of their struggle and their renewed life are a testament to our son’s gift,” said Carol. “As a family, we grasp at any validation that this tragedy will not be in vain. It is our wish that this second chance at life will give the recipients and their loved ones the opportunity to enjoy everyday and an opportunity to make many more happy memories together in the years to come.
“We are so proud that Bronson made this decision ahead of time and wanted to give in this special way. It exemplifies his character as a very loving and caring person.”