INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A Missouri couple is raising awareness about organ donation after their 15-year-old son saved a little girl's life.
Bret and Eula Motelet said they're able to better cope with the loss of their son because his heart beats on in someone else.
“Just a real joy. I called him my sunshine. He was always happy,” Eula Motelet told WDAF.
Brian Motelet's mother said he was the perfect baby. Then he came down with the flu when he was 8 months old. His mom said it developed into a seizure disorder by the time he was 1 year old.
“He had a full life physically, but mentally he had the mind of a 15- to 36-month-old,” Eula Motelet said.
Brian died at the age of 15 on Aug. 4 this year, but the Motelets said their son's spirit lives on. He was an organ donor - and his heart went to a 9-year-old girl in Texas.
“I knew it was them because they posted when they found out they were getting a heart. It was at the same time we found out somebody was a match,” Bret Motelet said.
“I could do nothing but cry,” Kaycee Kelm told WDAF in a FaceTime interview.
Kelm said her family got the call they'd been waiting for at 8:15 p.m. the night Brian passed.
Her 9-year-old daughter Belle had an oversized heart that couldn't function well enough on its own - and she was getting Brian’s heart.
“I was amazed and happy that my daughter, of course, had a heart, but I knew what that meant for another family,” Kelm said.
Kelm said the Motelets found her on Facebook almost a week later.
“Brian's legacy is living on by helping this young girl continue with her life, and her parents and all the lives that are being touched as a result,” Bret Motelet said.
The Motelets said they want to raise awareness about organ donation. Despite losing his own life, Brian saved countless others.
One kidney and pancreas went to a 26-year-old woman in the Midwest, and the other kidney and his liver went to a 62-year-old woman in the Midwest, but the Motelets said they can't find them.
“I want my child's memory to live on, and I just want the world to know he was my son, and I`m proud of him,” Eula Motelet said.
“Why not, why not save a life?” Bret Motelet said.
And they said if Brian couldn't live a long, prosperous life, why not give another family that chance?
“I like to think everything happens for a reason, so maybe this did,” Bret Motelet added.
“It gives me peace knowing that Brian's still here,” Brian's mother said.
They've already made plans to meet Belle once she's healthy and her immune system builds up.
A Go Fund Me page has been started to help the Motelet family pay for Brian's funeral arrangements. Additionally, friends of Kelm's are selling t-shirts with all funds raised going to Belle's medical expenses.