Each year, a float commemorating the lives saved by organ donors who have died away is constructed for the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
One of them this year is from Fredon, Sussex County, and he has a story that may be unprecedented in the history of the state.
Joey Savage, who was only 25 years old when he died, was killed in an automobile accident in 2017.
Two persons with failing kidneys were saved thanks to his donation. Another person’s life was spared thanks to his liver. Also, Spring Lake resident Jim McLaughlin’s heart was given a second chance.
Savage’s mother was afflicted with bone cancer, and he was able to treat her a year after his death.
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His bone fragments were used in a successful operation on his spine.
In the 35 years that NJ Sharing Network has been helping with organ transplants in the state, this is the first time that tissue has been donated from a child to a parent.
“I’ve had his back for 25 years, and now he’s got mine,” Savage’s mom, Heather Prutzman, said.
“Whenever I go, I take a little bit of him with me.
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Never far from my thoughts is he. Well, I’ve got a little bit of him embedded in my spine now.
Always by my side, he is.”
In the current installment of “While Savage’s loved ones gather to celebrate him and plan the homage to him that will be presented at the Rose Parade, Brian Donohue of “Positively New Jersey” pays a visit to the NJ Sharing Network’s headquarters.