Hope In Challenging Times04/21/2020
“Oh. That’s cool!” That was Kwentin’s only reaction when he learned his sister had registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor when she got her driver’s license in December of 2019. His mother, Cecilia, describes him as “a boy of few words.” But that short family conversation about the gift of life helped her family make the decision to donate after Kwentin sadly passed away.
“I think we’ll be asking why for a very, very long time,” Cecilia says, explaining her family’s grief process. “It doesn’t make any sense to us. It doesn’t add up.”
Working through such a sudden and confusing loss, Cecilia says she finds hope and relief in knowing something good could come out of her family’s hardship.
“We know someone else gets to hug their loved one, or see their loved one, for one more day,” she says. “To give someone hope when we felt hopeless—that helps us cope.”
While Kwentin never wanted to be the center of attention, he always tried to make everyone feel loved and included. His mom says he was the first to protect his classmates from bullies and was swift to deliver a joke to diffuse a situation.
The sports-loving bass guitar player grew up with the support of his neighbors and friends in the small town of Duncan in Greenlee County near the Arizona-New Mexico border. Even Sheriff Tim Sumner was present during a socially distant honor walk for Kwentin.
“It was just beautiful how much they went above and beyond to make sure he was treated like a hero,” Cecilia says about the staff at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson who helped his donation case happen in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
An honor walk typically has hospital staff line up shoulder to shoulder along the path to the operating room. In a time of COVID-19, this honor walk had one stark difference—everyone standing 6 feet apart.
“They still did a good job abiding by the restrictions but still honoring Kwentin as much as they could,” Cecilia says. “They had the biggest hearts and compassion in supporting us. It was amazing.”