After losing their 5-year-old son in a drowning incident in Northbrook earlier this month, the Babiarz family made the extraordinary decision to donate their son’s organs.
Vincent Babiarz, 5, was found in a pool at a family gathering in Northbrook July 18. Authorities say that he was under water for about 10 minutes when relatives found him and began CPR. The boy was taken to Glenbrook Hospital where doctors were able to get his heart beating again.
His mother, Danielle Babiarz, found a tiny bit of comfort knowing that the devastating loss of her son might save the life of another child.
“I know what it’s like to lose a child, and to spare another family that grief is kind of empowering,” Babiarz said.
With the help of the Gift of Hope organization, doctors were able to harvest Vincent's organs. According to Babiarz, they were able to get his pancreas, his kidneys, parts of his intestines, some heart valve tissue, and possibly his corneas.
“I might be able to see my sons eyes again someday, and that’s really comforting,” Babiarz said. “It was the right decision for us and our family.
Vincent would have been starting kindergarten at Blaine Elementary School this fall. His mother says family, friends, Gift of Hope and the community have helped them get through the last week and a half.
Gift of Hope says around 300 families in Illinois chose to donate a loved one's organs. Around 25 of those cases are children under the age of 10. Over 4,700 people are waiting for organs in Illinois.