Death of Young Man Saves Life of Another

POSTED: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 11:45am

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 11:28am

DALLAS- A Dallas, Texas teenager met the family of his kidney donor for the first time as part of the National Donor Sabbath.

Churches around the country held special services Sunday to promote organ donation. Mason Salazar, 20, lost his life July 1 from a shooting. While his family grieved, they made a decision that let another family keep their son alive.

"We just started screaming and shouting and jumping. And I said, it's time, it's time. We have a kidney," said Cynthia Jefferson, mother of Bryson Lewis, 16, who would receive Mason Salazar's liver.

Lewis had suffered kidney failure and went through dialysis. He was on the waiting list for an organ transplant when the Salazars donated their son's kidney to him.

"Most parents would feel what I did, and that is, if that was my baby lying there, God, I'd hope somebody would save him," said Tina Salazar, Mason's mother.

To thank the Salazars, Lewis and his mom invited them to their church for Sunday service. In front of everyone at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, the two families met for the first time.

"They wanted their son's life to live on, and so the kidney you have belongs to a young man who is now gone," said Dr. Tony Evans, pastor.

The two families hugged and kissed each other, with tears and plenty of mixed emotions.

"The thought of getting to see somebody that's got a part of your only son was awesome," said Salazar.

Now, a part of Mason can live on in Bryson.

"Knowing what they had to go through, it's just a warm feeling just to see them," said Lewis, thanking the Salazars.

"We are blessed that you guys made the decision," said Jefferson to the Salazars. "And we will honor Mason's life, the life that he lived."

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If more people were as generous as Mason Salazar, we wouldn’t have over 50% of Americans waiting for organ transplants dying each year.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88.

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