Marvin family grateful for two organ donation decisions

Many speculate over source of donated heart

Connor Marvin, center, with parents Walter "Smitty" Marvin and Darlene Mitchell.

Connor Marvin, center, with parents Walter "Smitty" Marvin and Darlene Mitchell. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

The speculation around where Connor Marvin’s new heart came from started in nearly the same breath as the good news that he was in line for the transplant rippled through his friends and family.

Marvin, who received a heart transplant in the early morning hours of March 1, also had heard the speculation at Children’s Hospital of Boston.

“Oh yeah, it is something that has even been talked about around the floor,” he said, somberly.

On Feb. 27, a little more than three days before the transplant, a shooting spree at a Chardon, Ohio High School resulted in the loss of three lives, including two who had either made the decision themselves or through their families to donate organs.

According to an article posted on the website cleveland.com, the donations were made Feb. 28, less than 42 hours before Marvin’s surgery.

“He was so full of life and we are honoring his wishes to help others by donating his organs,” a statement from the family of 17-year old victim Russell King, Jr., said.

A second victim, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, was an organ donor through his drivers license.

“The timing was more than ironic, yet no one really knows,” Connor’s father, Walter “Smitty” Marvin said. “Someday, we may know and find out that they were connected, but that’s another story for another day.”

Instead, what Connor’s family was focused on this day was the fact that someone had made a heartfelt decision during a time of grief that was life-saving for others.

“It’s big to know that the family made this choice to donate in such a tragic time,” Connor said. “They were able to stop and realize that you can save the lives of eight people through organ donation and help up to 50 through tissue donations. We are grateful for that.”

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