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Flores Family Shows Generosity Through Donation

Easton, PA native, Austin Flores, knew how to make others laugh.  His witty and likable personality drew people to him, and he was always surrounded by family and friends.  Some people are just full of life and love – and Austin was one of them.  He also believed in helping others, which is something that he was able to do in November, 2011.

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The Flores family received a phone call that no one ever wants to get.  At 3:30 AM, Austin’s mother, Debra, answered the phone and her life was changed forever.  She was told that Austin had been in a terrible car accident and had suffered severe head trauma.

The family raced to the hospital and waited.  After 14 days in a coma, the sad reality became apparent – for Austin, there was no coming back from his accident, and he passed away.  “Being a parent, you don’t want anyone to ever go through this type of pain. It’s a hard journey.  I get through it by remembering his smile and the many good times that we had. Our house was always full of joy because of him.” said Debra.

When Austin applied for his driver’s license, he made the decision to be an organ and tissue donor.  When the family was approached in the hospital by Gift of Life Donor Program to discuss donation, they wanted to fulfill Austin’s wishes and do whatever they could to help others.  In the worst possible moment that a family could face, the Flores family decided to turn their grief into someone else’s blessing.

Because of Austin and the Flores family’s generosity, two women – ages 21 and 26 – were given his corflores (2)neas, and now are able to see.  After just 20 short years on this earth, Austin left a big legacy – one of giving and kindness.

“Today, we are able to move forward and smile, knowing that Austin is still here helping others,” said Debra. “His two recipients can now see the world because of him.  I always say ‘What can you do for someone else and how can you pay your blessings forward?’”  Austin lived by his mother’s example and paid his blessings forward by saying ‘yes’ to organ and tissue donation.

Austin’s father, Adolfo, is originally from Honduras.  Together, Adolfo and Debra, are the parents of Austin and his two sisters, Alizia and Amber.  As Hispanic Heritage Month kicks-off this week, it is a great opportunity to reach minority communities about the importance of registering as an organ donor.  It’s also a time to recognize the selflessness of Hispanic and multicultural families – like the Flores family – who were able to look past their own pain and give to others through donation.

Austin Flores (2)Today, there is a critical need to increase the number of registered organ and tissue donors in Gift of Life Donor Program’s region (eastern PA, southern NJ and DE) – with more than 5,900 men, women and children awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.  Nationally, over 122,000 people are waiting.  Of that number, nearly 57% of those waiting for an organ transplant are minorities.

Debra is proud when she describes how many of Austin’s friends were inspired by his legacy. “A lot of people’s minds were changed about donation after hearing Austin’s story.  I think through education and through hearing stories – like ours – people want to help.” said Debra.  “It’s a wonderful thing to do something for someone else.  Life isn’t just about you.  We all need to ask ourselves what we can do to help others.”

Just one donor can save and enhance the lives of up to 50 people, making a huge impact that is far-reaching. Register today at www.donors1.org.  It only takes 30 seconds.

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