Local family turns tragedy into a gift of life - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local family turns tragedy into a gift of life

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Sharp Memorial Hospital will hold its annual flag raising ceremony Thursday to mark the beginning of Donate Life Month. 

The observance honors those who have been touched by organ donation. 

Sharp Memorial is one of the leading hospitals in California and the country that encourages people to donate their organs, yet, the need is great. 

Last year 81 people died waiting for an organ, and now a mother is sharing how her tragedy has become a gift that helped her overcome her grief. 

Within the chaos of the emergency room, the emotions of losing a son and being overwhelmed with decisions, Deborah Flores was not prepared to decide to donate her son's organs. 

"I just don't know if I could have made the right decision, but my son did something great. He made that decision on his own and saved four people," she said. 

On May 5, 2013, Deborah's son Xusha Brown Jr., was gunned down in a car to car shooting along Interstate-8 in La Mesa. According to police, he was not the target in the murder. 

"I got the worse call that any parent could get," said Brown's mother. 

To overcome the anger and grief Deborah began volunteering for Life Sharing, a non-profit that inspires people to sign up and donate their organs. 

"You're giving people a new chance at life," she said. 

On Thursday, Sharp Memorial will raise the Donate Life Flag to mark the importance of organ donation. 

Sharp Memorial reports more than 23,000 people are on the organ waiting list just in California. More than 500 of those are Sharp Memorial patients. 

"When I meet the recipients, they are such fighters and they help me not give up, not to take life for granted," said Deborah. 

Deborah said organ donation is about breathing new life into tragedy. According to Sharp Memorial, one organ donor can save up to eight lives. 

Sharp Memorial is expected to raise the Donate Life flag on Thursday at 10 a.m. 

To register and become an organ donor, visit Donate Life California.

Para información en Espanol visite Done Vida California

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