NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When a young man died in a car accident, his family donated his organs – giving the gift of life to four people.
On Thursday, his family met those people for the first time.
Tears fell like raindrops as the Colon family embraced the recipients of their son’s organs at Live on NY in Hudson Yards, CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported.
“It’s amazing, amazing,” Toni Ann Colon said.
“I can go home now and smile more,” Frederick Colon added.
At just 18, Dillon Colon died after a car accident.
Murdock sat down with his mother, Toni Ann, father, Frederick, siblings, Jillian and Erick, to learn more about the beloved baby of the family.
“We could all say he was our best friend,” said his mom.
“Always joking, always making us laugh,” his sister added.
His dad said most people live life, but Dillon loved life.
They said the decision to donate his organs was easy.
“I knew what kind of person he was. He would donate blood whenever he saw a blood drive, always right there to help people when he can,” his mom said.
In the end, Dillon helped save four people. Three came Thursday.
“I’m glad I could keep your mom around for a while,” said his mom.
Alba Indio received his right kidney.
“I felt like I gained a son. That’s how I feel. He’s a part of me,” she said.
Jonelle Pluck’s son, Kamari, who is the same age as Dillon, received his left kidney.
“Because of her selfless act, my son and other families were given a second chance at life,” she said.
Wayne Knoth, who lives with cystic fibrosis, got both his lungs.
“Something I’ve never ever experienced in my life,” he said of taking his first breath post-transplant. “I felt like I could breathe the whole world in.”
“The first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes, ‘I gotta thank this family,’” he added.
A little more than a year later, he got to do exactly that.
Live on NY says in July alone, 106 lives were saved in the greater New York Metro area. Still, more than 9,000 people in the state are waiting for organs. For more information, click here.