GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–A new program at Prisma Health announced on Thursday will now allow those who need organ transplants to stay right in the Upstate.
Love like Ethan. It’s the motto Trevor Rubenzer lives by.
“Just the tremendous amount of love of other people is probably what I’ll remember the most,” Rubenzer, whose son donated his organs, said.
Just less than two years ago, his 11-year-old son Ethan was killed following a car accident involving a driver under the influence.
“He had suffered traumatic head and neck injuries and was not going to survive,” Rubenzer said.
On par with his kind nature, Rubenzer said Ethan had previously expressed his desire to be an organ donor.
“Ethan donated his heart, both of his kidneys and his liver to different people who needed them,” Rubenzer said.
Something he says will be helped with Prisma Health’s recent announcement.
“Those are all things the more localized that it is, the more and quicker those things can happen,” Rubenzer said.
Prisma is launching a solid organ transplant program later this year, for kidney transplants.
“Our goal is to provide critically ill patients with life savings transplants in areas closer to where they live,” Mark O’Halla, president and CEO of Prisma Health, said.
Solid organs are things like the liver, pancreas, spleen and kidneys.
Rubenzer says at the very least, this announcement will encourage people to discuss organ donation with their loved ones.
“If we can have these conversations now we don’t get caught having to have them at the worst possible time in our life,” he said.
He said spreading the word is just one way he works to honor Ethan.
“I know I’m proud of his legacy, and I think that he would be too.”
Prisma plans to expand the program to other organs based on community need.
You can sign up to be an organ donor through Sharing Hope SC.
Rubenzer is also raising money in Ethan’s honor to send disadvantaged children to Boy Scouts programs.