Alicia Menchaca's youngest son, Matthew Bowers, was the light of her life with a smile that would brighten any room. He would often stop playing with his older brother Artie to jump on her lap, squeeze her cheeks and tell her he loved her. In May 1999, at age three, he died after being hit by a car while crossing the street with a family member. As an organ donor, Matthew saved the lives of five individuals. Alicia was glad he served a mighty purpose and made an impact on the world at such a young age.
Alicia Menchaca's youngest son, Matthew Bowers, was the light of her life with a smile that would brighten any room. He would often stop playing with his older brother Artie to jump on her lap, squeeze her cheeks and tell her he loved her. He also loved to help with chores, grab rags, and drench them with soapy water.
One evening in May 1999, Alicia returned home from Bible study to find ambulances outside her apartment complex. A family member who was watching her sons had taken Matthew to the store across the street when he was hit by a car.
Unable to completely grasp how this had happened, Alicia was driven to LAC+USC Medical Center. Surrounded by her closest family and friends, she prayed all night. The next morning, she was told Matthew would not recover from the accident. Alicia ran to the elevators and rushed outside, where she was joined by a friend whose husband was in need of a new heart. Alicia thought of donating Matthew's organs and informed the hospital staff.
Matthew's heart was too small for her friend's husband, but he was able to help a little boy to begin walking immediately after his heart transplant. A total of five recipients receive the gift of life from Matthew.
According to Alicia, "This news was given to me after 10 years, because it took that long for me to become strong enough to ask about his organ recipients. The only fear I had was being told they were not used or needed. To find out about all the recipients was a tremendous blessing."
At only age three, Matthew served a mighty purpose and made an impact in this world. "I am so glad that I survived his loss and am able to share his story of how he touched so many lives," said Alicia. "And I'm glad that Matthew's gifts helped another mom win the fight for her son's life."