One Life Lost, Many Lives Saved

By Jill E. Wolforth-


This month’s blog article is a little difficult to write but I was moved to write it and am hopeful it has a couple good messages that reach the exact people in need of hearing them.


A couple weeks ago, we received word that one of our former pitchers, Clayton Sparks, had been in a serious skiing accident.  Enjoying life, as usual, Clayton and a friend went up the mountain one final time to cap off their trip.  There came a split in the ski route and each of the two took a different path knowing they would merge again.


Unfortunately, Clayton never made it to the merge point.  His friend, after waiting for some time, removed his skis, hiked up the mountain and found Clayton unconscious.  He had run into a tree and was severely injured.   As a designated organ donor, he was placed on life support, but after several days the decision was made to have it removed.


I truly cannot imagine what that would be like; one day having a normal conversation with your vibrant young adult son to days later having to make a decision to end his life. 


My first message is one we all know but need reminded of from time to time is: Life is precious and can be taken from us at any time.  We must not take our loved ones for granted because we don’t know what tomorrow might bring or, in this case, take away.  


Clayton had an extremely generous demeanor from a very early age.  He felt it was important to share his blessings with others.  In truth, he had a much older soul.  He made it a point to make sure that people, many times children who were overlooked in some way, were shown their own special moments. 


His generosity was seen all the way to his death, when it became known that he was an organ and tissue donor and over 80 people were the recipients of his donations.  Of those 80 people, several were on their final fight for life and now, for many years, will be able to share this story of death for life. 


The second message is that in almost everything that seems to be bad, something good can come from it and although we can’t see it right away, we must have faith that there is plan.  It is truly sad when we think about the loss of Clayton and the pain his family is feeling, but in this sadness, many other families are rejoicing.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.


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