Quantcast

Two local families connected through organ donation - KOAM TV 7

Two local families connected through organ donation

Updated:
A celebration of life binds united two local families. The two families were brought together by the gift of an organ donation. And at the Celebration of Life event at Joplin's Freeman Hospital, brought them together, once again.

"If God told you...I have a precious little boy for you, but you can only have him for 7 years...would you take him?" Phyllis Sanders says.
These words were told to her son, who was the father of 7 year old Collin Sanders.
Collin passed away in 2002, But his legacy still lives on...in Jacob Smirl, of Girard, KS.

"I used to have this donate life dog chain that I would wear to basketball games, and I felt like it was my good luck charm." Jacob Smirl says.


Due to injuries sustained in a car accident, Collin's family made the decision to take him off life support and donate his organs.
At just 20 months...Jacob was diagnosed with a liver disease, requiring a transplant.
Collin was a match...and his donated liver made the journey from Colorado, to Kansas where it was given to Jacob.

"We can't say thank you enough to them. We can say thank you everyday to them, but we can't bring Collin back, and in order to honor his life and honor him, and other people go "look what Collin did for Jacob" and when their time comes or for a family member they could be honored and proud." Alice Smirl, Jacob's mother explains.

At the celebration of life banquet, donor families and recipients honor one another for the gifts that nobody can replace.

"You can be an organ donor with your heart, your lung, your kidneys, your liver, your pancreas, skin, tissue, eye, bone...there are so many gifts that one person can provide." Roxanna Estes, a Freeman Health System Registered Nurse explains.


Now at 11 years old, Jacob is happy and healthy.
He enjoys playing basketball, video games, and golfing.
And his family says none of that would be possible without Collin's gift.
Sanders says while Collin's passing wasn't easy, she's thankful she has a new grandson through Jacob.

"I'm just blessed to be able to know who got part of him, so that I can be a part of his life now too." Sanders says.


Collin's parents and siblings still live in Colorado but his extended family lives in Carl Junction, Missouri.
Jacob and his family continue to keep in touch with them.

If you are interested in becoming an organ donor, click this link for more information.
Or visit the Midwest Transplant Network website for more information.




  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Joplin Tornado Survivor Invents Tornado Shield

    Joplin Tornado Survivor Invents Tornado Shield

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:25 GMT
    What do you do when a tornado strikes...and you have no where to go? That's what one Joplin man asked himself after the may 2011 tornado. So he developed a product that is mobile, versatile...and affordable. More >>
    What do you do when a tornado strikes...and you have no where to go? That's what one Joplin man asked himself after the may 2011 tornado. So he developed a product that is mobile, versatile...and affordable. More >>
  • Restaurant Shows Appreciate to Emergency Service With Free Lunch

    Restaurant Shows Appreciate to Emergency Service With Free Lunch

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:09:28 GMT
    Labor day may means a day off for students and many workers...but there are some who work year round. One restaurant is showing appreciating for those workers service and saying thanks this holiday.More >>
    Labor day may means a day off for students and many workers...but there are some who work year round. One restaurant is showing appreciating for those workers service and saying thanks this holiday.More >>
  • Bright Futures adds two more schools

    Bright Futures adds two more schools

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:56:46 GMT
    Bright Futures has two new affiliates for a total of 25. Bentonville, Arkansas and Poplar Bluff, Missouri will have the organizations that connect businesses, faith based groups and service partners to work with school districts to meet students needs including personal items like shoes to school supplies. Bentonville school district serves 15,000 students while Poplar Bluff serves 5,200 students.More >>
    Bright Futures has two new affiliates for a total of 25. Bentonville, Arkansas and Poplar Bluff, Missouri will have the organizations that connect businesses, faith based groups and service partners to work with school districts to meet students needs including personal items like shoes to school supplies. Bentonville school district serves 15,000 students while Poplar Bluff serves 5,200 students.More >>
  • Kelly ReidMore>>

  • Joplin Tornado Survivor Invents Tornado Shield

    Joplin Tornado Survivor Invents Tornado Shield

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:25 GMT
    What do you do when a tornado strikes...and you have no where to go? That's what one Joplin man asked himself after the may 2011 tornado. So he developed a product that is mobile, versatile...and affordable. More >>
    What do you do when a tornado strikes...and you have no where to go? That's what one Joplin man asked himself after the may 2011 tornado. So he developed a product that is mobile, versatile...and affordable. More >>
  • Restaurant Shows Appreciate to Emergency Service With Free Lunch

    Restaurant Shows Appreciate to Emergency Service With Free Lunch

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:09:28 GMT
    Labor day may means a day off for students and many workers...but there are some who work year round. One restaurant is showing appreciating for those workers service and saying thanks this holiday.More >>
    Labor day may means a day off for students and many workers...but there are some who work year round. One restaurant is showing appreciating for those workers service and saying thanks this holiday.More >>
  • Lower Gas Prices Draw More Boaters to Grand Lake

    Lower Gas Prices Draw More Boaters to Grand Lake

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:26:19 GMT
    An estimated 34 point 7 million people are expected to travel this holiday weekend, according to triple a. And gas prices are lower than average. Plenty here  will be heading down to grand lake for their last weekend of summer. But how much will it cost them ?More >>
    An estimated 34 point 7 million people are expected to travel this holiday weekend, according to triple a. And gas prices are lower than average. Plenty here  will be heading down to grand lake for their last weekend of summer. But how much will it cost them ?More >>
Powered by WorldNow

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.