The slain California Highway Patrol officer described as "our hero" by his family has given new life to four hospital patients with his last heroic act.
The kidneys, pancreas, liver and heart of Officer Kenyon Youngstrom were donated last week, per his wishes, saving one man and three woman, the California Transplant Donor Network said in a new release Tuesday. One of the recipients waited more than a decade to receive a new organ.
Youngstrom was shot Sept. 4 during a traffic stop near Livorna Road on Interstate 680 and died the next day. The suspected shooter, Christopher Lacy, a 36-year-old software engineer from Rancho Tehama, near Corning, was shot to death moments later by another CHP officer.
Youngstrom's family last week released a statement through the Donor Network saying that in their overwhelming grief, they were "comforted to know he continues to help others." The 37-year-old officer is survived by his wife and four children in Cordelia and a large extended family.
One of Youngstrom's kidneys went to a 52-year-old woman who had been waiting for a new one since 2002.
A 29-year-old mother received Youngstrom's pancreas and left kidney following a three-year wait, and a 63-year-old woman received Youngstrom's liver. All the women were from the Bay Area, the Donor Network said.
As for Youngstrom's heart? It went to a 50-year-old married father of four from Southern California.
The Donor Network released no additional details about the patients, citing their need to recover and desire for privacy, Borders said. He said doctors observed a moment of silence before beginning the surgery, and read a remembrance from the Youngstrom family that recalled how he "put God, his wife and children first."
For more information on becoming an organ donor, go to www.ctdn.org.