CREATED Aug. 27, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - 12-year-old Zachary Reyna may have lost his life, but he's saving others' lives. Zac's family announced on his Facebook prayer page, Pray4Number4, that Zac was taken off a ventilator last night, but his organs will be donated to others waiting on a miracle.
The family didn't focus on one life ending, but the beginning of a new journey of saving lives. The post said, in part, "Tonight at 10:13PM, Zachary Cole Reyna began his journey to save lives. Zac donated all his organs to others that were waiting on a miracle. Through donating his organs, Zac is living on. His heart will be pumping for someone, his lungs will be taking breaths for someone and all his other organs will change the lives of many."
Mark Pusatari, of Gateway, is one of many whose life would be changed with a transplant. Pusatari was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was 16 years old. Last year, his kidneys failed and he joined 106,000 other Americans in waiting for a donor.
"Anytime someone donates the gift of life, it takes somebody off the list," Pusatari said. "[Zac's] family decided to give life to a lot of people. He's got two kidneys, two lungs, liver heart, eyes, skin, whatever they're donating is going to make someone's life a lot better... I know it's a big commitment from them but it's a good way to make your loved one live on through others."
Barbara Miller, Director of Kidney Transplant at Gulf Coast Medical Center, said the need for organ donation is tremendous right now. In any given year, 85 percent of the people waiting for transplants don't receive them. She admires the Reynas for their decision.
"There is no greater gift that a family can give or a more selfless act in their darkest hour to somehow turn this terrible tragedy into a miracle for many others," Miller said.
On Monday, Zac's older sister Amanda tweeted "It's comforting to know Zac is saving others with his organs."
Even though Pusateri may not be a direct recipient of one of Zac's organs, it could mean he's one step closer to his turn, which for him, means everything.
"It means the ability to see my children grow up, maybe have grandchildren," he said.
Funeral arrangements for Zac Reyna have not been announced yet.