Recent tragedies bring life saving organ donations

The lives of David Misch, JoVon Porter, and Stone Foltz live on through their gift of life, by donating their organs.
Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 10:31 PM EST
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - 19-year-old David Misch, 28-year-old JoVon Porter, 20-year-old Stone Foltz all passed away this month in horrific unexcepted manners, and all three men were organ donors.

David Misch was described as an “Innocent bystander” in a disturbance on Nevada Street in Toledo on the night of March 1st. Misch was shot during the incident and later died at the hospital. Less than 24 hours later on March 2nd in the middle of the day, JoVon Porter was gunned down while driving. Porter was shot at least once and later died of his injuries. And just last weekend BGSU sophomore Stone Foltz died after an alleged off-campus hazing incident, the official cause of his death has not been determined.

“These families are incredible,” said Kara Steele. “You know it’s a horrible tragedy that’s happened, they’ve lost a loved one and somehow they are looking beyond their own grief, thinking of others and they want their loved one to live on and literally save lives through organ donation.”

Kara Steele is the Director of Community Services with Life Connection of Ohio. Staff with a Life Connections work side by side with families in the most difficult time of their lives.

“One person has the power to save 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of 125 more through tissue donation,” said Steele. “I really can not think of a better life-saving legacy that can be left than registering as an organ and tissue donor.”

Due to confidentiality and privacy agreements, Life Connection staff can’t comment on how many lives David Misch, JoVon porter, and Stone Foltz’s specifically impacted with their donations but Director Kara Steele says recipient families are forever grateful.

“We said prayers for the donor family because we knew that somebody was going to have to pass away for me to get that transplant and live again,” said Tonya Gomez.

Since birth Tonya Gomez of Archbold has battled cystic fibrosis and was left with only 10 percent lung function. Doctors told Gomez she would not survive without a double lung transplant. 17 years ago that transplant came from a Wisconsin child named Adam.

“I found out that my donor was a 10-year-old child and that was really hard for us because we had a child ourselves,” said Gomez. “We cried for a long time but we realized it was going to happen either way.”

With each breath Tonya takes she says she thinks of Adam and other organ donors who give people a second chance at life.

“They gave me something that I can’t thank them enough for,” said Gomez. “I just can’t.”

Staff with Life Connection of Ohio stress how simple is to become a donor. The group says you can become a donor by contacting the DMV to let them know, and they will then place an organ donor status on your driver’s license. Director Steele with Life Connection of Ohio also says you can go online and register on their website, a process that she says takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

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