Son’s legacy lives on through organ donation, saving 4 lives

Christine lost her son 12 years ago but today, he lives on in four others who received his organs.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — It’s a story still hard for Christine Daniels to share, but there’s power in doing so.

“It melts your heart,” Daniels said. “As a mom when I can talk about him, I feel like he gets that energy and he knows that we’re also thinking about him.”

Twelve years ago, her 19-year-old son, Chris, was killed in a hit-and-run in Antioch, located in eastern Hillsborough County. At the hospital in Tampa, she shared her final goodbyes.  

“They let me walk with Chris all the way down to the operating doors. Our last walk together. When he got to the end, they hold the doors open for a few moments to have the extra couple of seconds,” Daniels described.

However, when those doors closed, they didn’t shut on Chris’ legacy.

“He became an organ donor in January 2012, he saved four lives with five organs,” she explained.  And because of that another family still has their dad, Chris’ heart is beating inside him.

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“We do keep in touch. My daughter’s met him, she got to hear his heartbeat as I did, as well,” Daniels says about the organ recipient. “He’s still around to take care of his children and he now has a successful business, he says every day he thinks about Chris, and he’s very grateful,” Daniels added.

Since Chris’ passing, Christine has been a vocal advocate for organ donation, volunteering with LifeLink of Florida.

“We need donors and for other people to be able to continue to be with their families,” Daniels said. “Out of that tragic, heartbreaking moment, there does come those heartfelt moments.”

And on Mother’s Day, it’s her son’s lasting gift to others that keep his legacy alive and her at peace. 

“It’s not so much tears anymore, now when I get to share his story with somebody, it’s happy,” she added.

According to LifeLink of Florida, there are more than 5,200 Floridians currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Florida residents can register to be organ donors at the DMV or by signing up at

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