Chesapeake man's organ donations save nearly 30 people

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by Lucy Bustamante, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 17 at 7:00 PM

CHESAPEAKE-- Tyler Hirst was only 20 years old when he was hit by a car and killed while riding his bike on Bainbridge Road in Chesapeake.

Years before, the young man had agreed to become an organ donor when he got his driver's license.

Following his wishes, his family donated his organs after his death, and have recently found out that Tyler helped nearly 30 people.

Lifenet is the organization that matches organ donors with recipients. They say Tyler's kidneys went to a 43-year-old single mother of four and a 31-year-old Air Force vet and dad of three.

His liver went to a 59-year-old Army vet with two kids.

His pancreas was donated to a 52-year-old mother.

A 56-year-old man who can now keep horseback riding with his three kids received Tyler's heart.

Tyler's lungs helped a 58-year-old grandmother and a 54-year-old man who's now planning a cruise with his family.

Tyler's father, Chris Hirst, finds it hard to explain how he feels to have his son exist in other people's bodies.

"I miss him. It's hard driving down this road every day. It's like he's here, but he's not."

Chris has made a memorial for his son at the spot where he died last May. Thursday his friends rallied on Bainbridge Road, signing other people up to become organ donors.

While Hirst is proud of his son's decision to help others, he's still not ready to meet the people who carry a piece of his son with them.

Lifenet representative Jay Stacher says all of the people who received Tyler's kidney, heart and liver are doing great. 

Stacher reminds others that three Virginians die each week waiting for an organ.

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