55 people to benefit from organs of man killed in 'freak accident' at beach

OAK ISLAND, North Carolina -- Fifty-five people are expected to get organs from a North Carolina man who died in a freak accident at the beach last week.

Lee Dingle, 37, was in the ocean playing with his kids last Friday when a wave pushed his head to the ground and broke his neck.

Shannon Dingle, Lee's wife, said swelling from the injury caused the father of six to suffocate.

Shannon told sister station ABC11 that, though she wishes Lee were still alive, she's glad his organs are helping others.

Carolina Donor Services said the organs should save four lives, give sight to one or two people and ultimately help 55 altogether.

"I think it's important for people to know that their next of kin is the one who ultimately makes the decisions, even if you're registered as an organ donor, you need to make sure your loved ones know your wishes because they will ultimately make the decision," she said.

ABC11 first met the Dingles in 2016, when troubleshooter Diane Wilson covered the moment a Durham medical supply business gifted their daughter Zoe an electric lift for her motorized wheelchair.

The support was a relief for the family who said there were state funding delays and obstacles.

Dingle's freak accident was no doubt a financial set back for his family. However, more than $245,000 has been raised for his family on GoFundMe.

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