COPY-Mother raises awareness for organ donation after death of son - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

COPY-Mother raises awareness for organ donation after death of son

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A mother remembers the son she lost one year ago this week, but she said she's not letting her grief stop her from fulfilling his dying wish.

Cory Garwacki passed away a year ago this week. Cory's mom Elizabeth Garwacki said he was a hero until the end.

“He was always smiling, always,” Elizabeth Garwacki said. “He appreciated life and really, I mean, really appreciated every day. He made the most out of every single day he had."

Elizabeth Garwacki held back tears while talking about her son, who was born with short gut syndrome. It’s a condition where he was missing the majority of his intestine.

Cory Garwacki was only supposed to live a few days, but he made it past his 27th birthday.

"He was living with a life-threatening illness,” Elizabeth Garwacki said. “There were so many things going on with him at the same time."

Cory Garwacki survived thanks to doctors at Baystate Children's Hospital in Springfield, Ma. as well as the transplant surgeries that replaced six organs.

Baystate Children's Hospital just honored him by naming a play area in his memory. His family is honoring him with the Cory J. Garwacki Foundation that he helped start before his death.

"He wanted to raise awareness for organ donation and raise awareness for patient safety and the patient experience in the hospital,” Elizabeth Garwacki said.

"Most people understand the need, understand the impact that this can have on people's life, understand the legacy that it can leave behind,” Chas Mackenzie with Life Choice Donor Services said.

According to Life Choice Donor Services, approximately 5,000 people are waiting for a transplant in Connecticut and Massachusetts. But if more people sign-up, more people can get the help they need, fulfilling one young man's mission.

"He was an amazing person and to celebrate him is wonderful,” Elizabeth Garwacki said.

For information on the Cory J. Garwacki Foundation, click here.

To learn more about life choice donor services, click here

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