Murdered Man Lives On Through Organ Donations
(Memphis) Michael Gilmore from Helena-West Helena, AR was shot to death in April 2010 in his apartment in Jonesboro, AR.
Gilmore was a student at Arkansas State University studying to be an athletic trainer. His murder remains unsolved.
Jerelene Gilmore, Michael’s mother, decided to donate his organs because she and her son had a conversation about it years earlier. She says, “Since he decided to donate his organs, I really feel that the decision was easy because he had made the choice.”
Michael’s organs saved several lives. Jerelene has connected with two of the recipients and hopes to one day meet more.
Verna Gail Harris received one of Michael’s kidneys. She waited 12 years to find a donor and recalls the day she got the call that a match was found, “It was shocking. I had to get strength; I had to pray.”
Truck driver Sammy Robinson was battling congestive heart disease when he received the call that a heart transplant match was found. He says, “It was real shocking. I was nowhere near prepared for it.”
Both Harris and Robinson say they’ve become extremely close to Jerelene because of their unique connection to her son.
Says Harris, “I’m so thankful for Ms. Gilmore. She’s such a precious lady. It’s like she’s a sister to me now.”
Robinson says, “She’s one of the sweetest ladies I ever met and for her to make a decision all of a sudden like that, it really meant a lot to me. It’s something that I’ll never forget. It’s priceless.”
Jerelene Gilmore feels the same way, “Even though Michael is not here in the flesh with me or around me everyday, I still can talk to them.”
She says, “I always ask Sammy, ‘How is Michael treating you?’ and Sammy always says, ‘He’s treating me fine. Just fine.’ And that makes me feel good.”
All three now campaign for others to sign up to donate their organs. Says Jerelene, “I’d like to tell everyone that’s out there if there’s any way possible to be an organ donor, you never know whose life you’ll save.”
To learn more about becoming an organ donor, follow this link: http://www.midsouthtransplants.org