(PAULDING COUNTY, Ga.) — A Paulding County high school football player who collapsed while playing basketball will be taken off life support and be an organ donor, his family announced Sunday.
Avery Cox suffered a seizure and cardiac arrest last week while playing basketball with friends. He’s been in the intensive care unit at Egleston Hospital since then.
On Sunday, Cox’s aunt said that the family received the “most devastating” news and made the difficult decision to donate Avery’s organs.
“Today was one of the hardest days as we said our ‘see you laters,’ Lisa O’Neal Youngblood wrote. “We have loved on him and soaked up every single minute that we could have as the doctors and nurses prepare Avery’s body for the final steps of his journey here on Earth.”
Youngblood said the family prayed together before Avery nurses, doctors and family gathered for an “Honor Walk” to the operating room.
“The surgery will last for many hours, as there are so many procedures that have to be in place to make sure that our Avery’s gifts will be in perfect condition for each recipient,” Youngblood said.
Youngblood said that Avery decided to be an organ donor at age 16.
“Avery will provide other families with the miracle that they have been praying for,” Youngblood wrote. “The beautiful, amazing, most precious gift of a second chance at life.”
Youngblood said “multiple” families will benefit from Avery’s organs.
“Please pray for strength for our family, pray that Avery’s body is ready to give his gifts, and pray for the recipients of Avery’s gifts and for their families,” Youngblood wrote.
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