It was a shock when Cletus Schnieders passed away. He was a young man with a wife, children, and other family members who never expected him to go so soon. His family was left with an empty hole in their lives where Cletus used to be and were forced to try to cope with losing the good man. Family life without Cletus, his good attitude, and riotously fun bear hugs would never be the same again.
Despite losing Cletus, one decision he made while on Earth helped other people after his death. Because he decided to check a box and become an organ donor, he became a hero after death. He helped save the lives of 50 different people because of that one decision.
In an interview with Yahoo! News, Carrie, Cletus’s wife, described how he died.
“I was in the other room talking to Clete, and I was getting annoyed because he wasn’t answering me. When I walked over to him, I realized he was choking. Then he collapsed.”
Carrie did her best to save him. And he was rushed to the hospital. But it wasn’t enough. Two torturous days later, doctors pronounced Cletus Schnieders completely brain dead. Then she watched as doctors poked and prodded Cletus to see if his organs could be donated to save the lives of others. They whisked him away and used his organs to save many lives.
Carrie broke down. Her husband was gone. The love of her life was dead. Her family would never be the same. Her rock was gone. Then it dawned on her. Cletus would not want her suffering like this. He would want her to be strong for the family, to stand up and be the rock that he had been. Carrie wiped her tears and stepped into the hallway.
She was not prepared for what was waiting for her.
Medical staff loved ones, strangers, and other people had lined the walls to do what the Life Center Organ Donor Network identifies as the “Honor Walk.”
Before Mercy West Hospital would take Cletus’s organs, they wanted to honor him and his family with the “Honor Walk.”
“It’s called an Honor Walk. The breathtaking moment when friends, family, and hospital staff line the halls as a hero who chose to be an organ donor makes their way to save lives. Cletus Schnieders gave the gift of life to more than 50 people through organ and tissue donation. Thanks to the Schnieders Family for sharing this moment with us.”
Carrie could not believe it when she stepped into the hallway to see all these supporters. And it made her heart swell with love for her beloved Cletus. It was so like him to help people out, even after he was dead.
After taking some time to grieve, Carrie shared her feelings on Facebook.
“Today was the worst day of my life. My amazing husband was pronounced brain dead around 9:30. He signed up to be an organ donor, which made this day even more heartbreaking with all of the tests and pokes they had to do on my love. I know due to his bravery he will give life to many people.”
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