ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Orange Park Hospital held a donate life celebration on Friday to honor organ donors and their families.
At the event, the family of Samuel Roush, 18, shared stories of the young man they loved. Samuel had autism and could not communicate like others, but his family said he did convey joy and happiness.
They said Samuel loved spending time with his family and loved to go to Disney World, watch game shows and celebrate Christmas. His family called him “Sammy.” Sammy had a twin brother, Zachary, and they spent a lot of time together.
Amy Rousch, Samuel’s mom, said, “When we knew that he was not going to be coming back to us, we knew that out of something tragic, he could help other people.”
Samuel passed away last summer from complications during a routine wisdom tooth removal procedure. He became a hero to six families through organ donation.
Amy, alongside Eric Roush, her husband and Sammy’s father, explained how they had written letters to the recipients of Samuel’s organs.
“We wanted them to feel comfortable communicating because that was part of our healing a little bit,” Amy said. “If those people were willing to talk to us to know that they were okay, that our child in a way lived on through them.”
“And that our unexpected tragedy would somehow help other people live,” Eric added.“We wanted to help spare other families our sorrow.”
“Sammy was a beautiful soul,” Eric said of his son. “We are blessed for having been his parents and will forever be saddened by his loss.”
Eight names were added to the Orange Park Hospital donor wall Friday.
Please consider a donation to the Autism Science Foundation. The organization works to fund research and successful treatments for individuals living with autism.