After 8-year-old's death, New Jersey family donates boy's organs in his honor

HALEDON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Caleb Van De Voort, a second grader from Haledon, New Jersey, was the personification of energy, according to his father, Justin.

"He had the most infectious laugh. His laugh could light up a stadium - he could light up the world even," he said.

Justin Van De Voort is in disbelief over the death of 8-year-old Caleb, who died after a severe asthma attack.

He had such a bad case of asthma that he needed to be nebulized every four hours. The little boy was rushed to the hospital by ambulance early Sunday morning but did not survive.

Justin called his son unfailingly generous and highlighted the moment Caleb offered to help his grandfather when he started dialysis two years ago.

"He goes, 'Would you think Pop Pop would take my kidney? I said, 'Buddy, do you even know what that means?' He goes, 'No, but I wanna do it,' and I explained the whole process to him ... and he still said, 'I wanna do it.'"

That selfless moment inspired Caleb's family to make one of the hardest and saddest choices of their lives. As the hospital continued to keep the boy's organs vital since his asthma attack, they made the decision to donate Caleb's organs to needy recipients all over the country.

Sources said his donations will save eight lives and his tissues will help another 75 people.

"I wanted to give his superpowers. That's the only thing -- I don't want to call it anything else -- I knew they could help people, and that would be the best thing."

Caleb's grandfather was the first offered one of Caleb's kidneys, but he declined, wanting the organs to help a younger recipient.

Caleb's family said they know as unbearably hard as this is, it was the right thing to do -- and what Caleb would want.

"I hope people who receive his organs benefit and know him somehow as well as I did," Justin said.

If you would like to donate to the Van De Voort, visit their GoFundMe page.

Click here for information on how to become an organ donor.

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