Florida firefighter who died in surfing accident donates organs in last selfless act

Ethan Wilson, courtesy of the Wilson family (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – A Volusia County firefighter and paramedic died Saturday after he became unresponsive while surfing at New Smyrna Beach earlier in the week and ended up in the ICU.

The family of Ethan Wilson, 33, said he donated his organs in a final act of lifesaving generosity toward others, according to News4JAX’s sister station WKMG.

Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue reported he was pulled from the water near the New Smyrna Beach jetty on Wednesday following a surfing accident. He died Saturday, surrounded by loved ones, according to the city of Ormond Beach.

Wilson leaves behind a wife, Ashley, and an infant son.

“In respect of Ethan’s wishes, he will be taken to surgery today to recover his organs to donate to people in need. In true Ethan fashion, his last act as a physical person of this world will be an act of generosity. The hospital staff has already matched some recipients and Ethan will give those recipients the ability to live a full and healthy life,” Ashley Wilson said in a statement on Facebook.

Ethan worked as a firefighter and paramedic with the Ormond Beach Fire Department. The city issued the following statement on Sunday.

An online fundraiser has received nearly $100,000 in donations as of Monday.

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