Organ recipients meet family of donor who saved their lives

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Just over a year ago, two Arlington High School seniors were in a fatal car accident. One of them went on to be an organ donor, saving the lives of four other New Yorkers.

The recipients met the family of their donor in Midtown Manhattan.

45-year-old Wayne Knoth is breathing because of something Toni Ann Colon lost.

"He wrote a beautiful letter to us saying he had never breathed a breath of fresh air until Dillon's lungs," said Toni Ann.

Just two days before his 18th birthday, her son Dillon Colon and his best friend were in an awful accident driving home from school.

Neither survived. "I know he was a giver in life, might as well be a giver in the worst time," said Toni Ann.

"He would have said yes," said Dillon's father Fredrick

Since donor recipient relationships are confidential, LiveOnNY facilitates the families that are willing to meet each other.

"Dillon will always be on my mind no matter what," said Wayne.

LiveOnNY Chief Medical Officer Amy Friedman says both science and experience show these meetings are meaningful.

"There aren't words to describe what happens, they see people living because of Dillon," she said.

And Wayne was not the only one to be saved by Dillon. "My kid is living right now through four other people," said Dillon's father Fredrick.

52 year old Alba Indio, a grandmother from New York, got his kidney. "Unbelievable that somebody who is not related to you is perfect for you, a part of me now," she said.

A cherished photo of the sky from the day Dillon died was a sign for his mother that her son would live on.

"My brother is, that was him, but at the same time it's nice knowing that he can have people keep living their lives. It's just a nice settling feeling for me," said Dillon's sister Jillian Colon.

"Dylan saved four lives with five organs that were transplanted, that's incredible. What a legacy for a terrific young man," said Amy Friedman.

There are 10,000 on the wait list in New York City. To be a donor, sign your license and make sure your family knows your wishes.

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