Organ DonationThe Greatest Gift You Can Imagine
At the end of 2009, Chris Henry, an NFL player with the Cincinnati Bengals, was critically injured in Charlotte as the result of a motor vehicle mishap. As he lay in an intensive care unit at Carolinas Medical Center, his mother, Carolyn Glaspy, faced the most difficult decision of her life.
“I thought I was going in to see injuries. I never imagined in a million years that I was going to see my son for the last time,” she told a national audience of millions who were watching an NFL broadcast nearly a year later, on Thanksgiving Day. Mrs. Glaspy made the choice to designate Chris an organ donor. Thanks to her courage the lives of four people she did not know were changed forever.
“Chris wasn't a registered donor, and it was a hard decision to make,” said Mrs. Glaspy. “But it is a decision I would do again.”
CBS Sports filmed on location at CMC in November 2010 to shoot the dramatic story of the first-ever gathering of Chris Henry's organ recipients. Their emotional meeting, also reported nationally by the Los Angeles Times, involved James Benton (liver), Donna Arnold (kidney and pancreas), Brian Polk (kidney), and Thomas Elliot (lungs). All described the imposing health challenges they had faced prior to surgery and highlighted the vastly improved quality of life they now enjoy.