Young Organ Donor Knew Fate, Family Says

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By Autumn Ziemba, Fox 8 News Reporter

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — A Clinton Township family is turning their own grief into a gift for others.

Nicholas and Kimber Gorham are living a parent's worst nightmare.

As the couple cradled their 11-month-old son, Josiah, on Thursday, they also grieved the loss of their other child, two-year-old David.

"He was almost infectiously happy... hugging, kisses.  He was such a good kid.  We were blessed to have him," said a teary-eyed Nicholas Gorham.

The family was at a park gathering on Sunday at the Beartown Lake Reserve in Geauga County, when somehow the toddler slipped away from the crowd.

David was found by an adult in the Lower Bear Lake.

"Somebody found him in the water and pulled him out, and we honestly don't know how long he was in the water," Kimber Gorham told Fox 8.

She said EMS workers gave her son CPR for 45 minutes before he was taken by the life flight helicopter.

For an agonizing two days the little boy remained on life support at MetroHealth Medical Center, where he was declared brain dead.

On Tuesday, David lost his battle, but his story doesn't end there.

“They said that if you donate organs, you're a hero, and every hero deserves a medal," Nicholas said, as he held his son’s medal—a gift from the organ donation organization Lifebanc.

The Gorhams say they knew the only way to make sense of David's death was for others to benefit, through organ donation.

"Someone else today is getting a kidney or two, and they're so happy--it's probably the best day of their life. And I just hope David's there with them, hugging them," Nicholas said.

“David would be so proud of what's happening from his death.  He's touching more people from his death than we could ever imagine doing in a lifetime," Kimber explained.

In a strange twist, the Gorhams said it was almost as if David knew his fate, even in the days leading up to his death.

“He wanted to call all his family members and tell them 'the Lord is my shepherd' and left messages saying 'I love you' for the ones he couldn't get ahold of.  It was like he was saying goodbye," Kimber said, through tears.

The Gorhams said David’s legacy, and the gifts he has given, has brought them an overwhelming sense of peace.

They also said they are incredibly touched by the outpouring of support they have received.

If you would like to help the Gorham family with medical expenses and funeral costs, click here.

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