Family learns Jared Walker able to 'give miracles' after all
Jared's mother, Rita Walker, said she got a phone call at 1 a.m. Friday in Florida asking for permission to transport Jared's body to a medical facility to take viable organs, bones and skin.
"They said they were working with the medical examiner, and they were going to hold off on the autopsy," Walker said by phone Monday afternoon. "They said they could take soft tissue from his arms, his veins and arteries and his heart for some valves, his jawbone."
Other areas of possible donations were his esophagus, corneas and bones from his arms, legs, pelvis and parts of his skull, Walker wrote on her Facebook page Friday.
Walker said on her Facebook page that "I was told that he would be able to help people all over the United States and the world. All this will help doctors for reconstructive surgery and be helpful for cancer patients, especially young children."
Though it was "a blessing for us to know Jared will live on and give miracles to so many," Monday was an emotional day for the family, Walker said, when they received Jared's cremated remains and death certificate, which reminded her of a birth certificate.
"I just broke down; it was really hard on me," said Walker, whose faith has kept her strong through the ordeal. "When you give birth, they hand you over your baby and a birth certificate. With the death certificate, it's hard to think you're being handed over a grown man in a box. It was the last blow, knowing he's not coming back."
Jared, 29, was a 2000 graduate of R.A. Long High School who was mortally wounded early Jan. 1 when he was accidentally shot in the head with his own gun at his condo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He died Thursday just before 9 a.m. EST, about 20 hours after he had been removed from life support.
There had been some question whether his body could be used for organ donation because it had been on life support for several days, Walker said, but then she got that early morning call Friday. A donor card was found in Jared's wallet, she said.
"We were so proud that he made that decision," his mother said.
An account has been set up under Jared Walker's name at Red Canoe Credit Union to help the family with expenses.