Henze lives on in others.
Olympic coach Stefan Henze died while in Rio after sustaining injuries from a car crash, but his tragic and sudden death was not all for nothing.
The former Olympian, who is from Germany and was a slalom canoeist, suffered from serious head injuries while in Rio when the taxi he was in hit a concrete barrier. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and died three days later, surrounded by his family.
The 2004 Athens silver medalist was a registered organ donor, and his family approved for the hospital to go through with the donations. There were four critically-ill patients that were in dire need of transplants in the Rio de Janeiro hospital and his heart, liver, and both kidneys were successfully transplanted.
Henze saved the lives of four people who, without his tragic passing, might have otherwise not made it.
His family, team, and the global canoe family are all deeply saddened by this loss, but they attempted to remain focused for the games after Henze and the team worked so hard to get to the Olympics. They are essentially commemorating his life by doing their best in the games.
Organ donations are crucial for saving lives, and the amount of people on the waiting list is probably more than you think. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, a person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes, and 22 people die everyday waiting for an organ transplant. Sadly, many people don’t take the time to register as a donor so that they can save lives once they’re gone.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated:
“One thing to remember is that every number in the statistic you view is a person — a person who either needs your help and is waiting for a lifesaving transplant or a person who has left a lasting legacy through organ and tissue donation. Either way, each number represents a life, a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister or a child—someone who is important to someone else, maybe even you.”
As an organ donor, someone’s death could save up to 8 lives if all their organs and tissue are successfully transplanted into others.
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