Granger Smith's Wife Says Late Son River's Organs 'Gave Life' To 2 Adults

By Lindsey Smith

July 14, 2019

It's been over a month since country singer Granger Smith and his wife Amber revealed the devastating news that their three-year-old son, River, passed away after drowning in the family's pool.

Since then, the parents have been incredibly candid and public about their loss as well as their grieving process. The country singer recently opened up about new details surrounding the night of his death as well as how his other children are doing.

In such a time of despair, the family made it their mission to give back to those who helped their little boy. After releasing a special tribute shirt for River, the Smiths unveiled a check for over $200,000 for the Dell Children’s Medical Center where River received medical attention after his accident.

Now, River's mom has revealed another way her son is helping others after his death. On Saturday (July 13), she posted a smiling photo of her son to Instagram and revealed that they made the decision to donate his organs. "His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something," she wrote. "There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives."

While the Smiths had lost their son, their decision to donate his organs, in turn, helped two adults who had been on the organ transplant list. 

She wrote:

We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults. A 49 year old woman and a 53 year old man. I cried when we opened it. Cried out of sadness & cried out of love. I’m so proud to be River’s mama and I’m so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible 3 years. I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made.

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I’ve always known I wanted to be a donor if anything were to ever happen to me. I just felt that if I had viable organs, why would I go into the ground with them? My spirit would be in Heaven, so why not save a life if I could? Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby. When 3 different neuro specialists told us that River had 0% chance of brain recovery (yes 0, not 10 or 1%, 0) after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others? His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something. There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives. The doctors said donation was quite a process. We would have to search for viable recipients and it could take days. We knew River’s spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn’t bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for 3 or more more days while they searched. They tried to expedite the process so our family could be in peace, told us they would take him back to operate the next morning, but we wouldn’t know what organs could be used until after. With such a small body, organs had to be measured physically, not just by X-ray. I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood. The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the “walk of honor”. We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone. Granger and I held each other and cried. We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults. A 49 year old woman and a 53 year old man. I cried when we opened it. Cried out of sadness & cried out of love. I’m so proud to be River’s mama and I’m so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible 3 years. I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made. There are over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting. Go to OrganDonor.gov to see how you can help give life as well. ❤️

A post shared by Amber Smith (@amberemilysmith) on

Photo: Getty Images

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