MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Saturday, Green Hill High School honored senior Gavin Cole, who lost his life in a motorcycle crash last November.
Although Gavin wasn’t able to attend in person, a piece of him was still there.
Gavin was an organ donor and was able to save several lives after his passing, including the life of 61-year-old Angela Gibbs. Gibbs had two heart attacks in one week and needed a heart transplant.
Gibbs’ daughter, Ta-Neia McCoy, was at Saturday’s ceremony and asked others, no matter how young, to consider becoming an organ donor.
“It’s such a selfless act to be a gift to someone else because you never know how that gift will come back around to you,” McCoy said. “It could be your next boss, it could be your next husband or wife, it could be someone else paying it forward because their life is saved by an organ or tissue donations.”
Gavin’s mom also hopes to spread that mission.
“In the entire state of Tennessee, out of 46 organ donors, they were able to save like 116 some odd lives,” Heather Gunn said. “There aren’t enough organ donors. Gavin falls in what they consider two percent. Two percent of the people that are signed up to be organ donors actually do what he did.”
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Although Gavin didn’t get to walk the stage, in a way his mom knows he’s still here.
“At the end, I’d listen to his heart every day, two and three times a day, and I could close my eyes and I felt him. And to know that I can still do that is nice,” Gunn said.
Gavin also donated his liver to a man who ended up being a teacher and track coach out of state. That man ended up donating a scholarship that Gavin’s girlfriend received at graduation.
Gavin leaves behind two sisters, a brother, and one sister-in-law.