Chris Henry's mother says her son's organ donation helped her gain closure

Published: Apr. 6, 2012 at 9:52 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2012 at 11:49 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As part Donate Life Month, the mother of former Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry remembers how deciding to donate her son's organs helped her gain closure.

Carolyn Henry Glaspy says Henry's organs were given to eight people and meeting one of them helped her deal with Henry's tragic death. Henry died in December of 2009 after falling off the back of a truck. She says "Because of his death and because of my not being selfish and saying no...I got the opportunity to have the largest family now."

Organ donations save about 77 lives each day and Glaspy says that by donating her son's organs she received the gift of a new purpose in life. She now shares her experience with organ donors and their families.

Glaspy says meeting the man who received her son's lungs helped her to find closure. "He said do you want to hear him and I said yeah.  I was so excited so I got  the opportunity to go in the corner and listen to that. That was my closure. That's when I cried. That's when I shed tears of joy."

Jessica Steck received a liver from an 18 year-old boy whose life was cut short. She says she's grateful, but initially felt a little guilty. "I felt guilty because I was chosen to be saved. There are so many people in the US waiting for a transplant."

There are more than 100-thousand people in the U.S. waiting for organ transplants and Steck says she was saved for a reason.  She helped raise the Donate Life flag Friday at University Hospital which honors donors and their families.

Steck says there are many people who are reluctant to donate. "I think the biggest hang up about it when I'm talking to people is one religion and two is they're afraid that if they're in a car accident that they're not going to be save. "

Carolyn Henry Glaspy says its a myth that doctors are only interested in harvesting the organs of donors. "They're going to do everything that is possible and the means of doing what the doctors can do to save your life.

Organ donations save about 77 lives each day. But there are still well over 100,000 people currently on the United Network for Organ Sharing Transplant List waiting to receive an organ.

If you are interested in signing up for organ donation you can do so by putting it on your driver's license or you can register at

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