Just recently a 41-year-old father of three young children sadly lost his life. While his family grieved the tragic loss a powerful moment occurred which is being circulated online all over the world.
On June 19th Cletus Schnieders III was having dinner with his family when a tragedy occurred.
Carrie, his wife had no clue what was happening as he seemed to be choking on his food. “I was in the other room talking to Clete, and I was getting annoyed because he wasn’t answering me,” she explains. “When I walked over to him, I realized he was choking. Then he collapsed.”
After placing a 911 call Carrie immediately performed chest compressions, however, two days in the hospital, her husband was announced brain dead.
Carrie was left with a big decision to make as her husband was an organ donor, which turns out to have saved three lives from donating (his kidneys and liver) and in total touched 50 people in need.
While walking to the operating room, Carrie captured the incredible moment as over 150 hospital staff, nurses, family, and friends lined the hallway for an “honor walk” to pay their respects to the man who was about to save so many lives.
Carrie posted the photo on Facebook where it was quickly shared by sites dedicated to organ donation. The image is obviously very powerful — and Clete’s story is touching so many people whose lives have been affected by organ donation. “The first several nights I was getting messages from all over the world, even Australia,” she remarks. “One man, in particular, reached out to me from Oregon, he wanted to thank me and Clete. Because of someone like Clete, he received a liver transplant and was able to watch his grandchildren grow up. That story really hit home since Clete also donated his liver.”
“Recipient stories were honestly the only thing keeping me going after those first few days of losing Clete,” she tells us.
Carrie explains that particular moment her husband was brought down the hallway is instilled in her mind. “My initial reaction was speechless. I feel like everything paused for a second as I turned the corner and saw all of the people who came out to support us,” she says. “Letting him go at the end of the hallway was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. I still have friends and family reach out to me and tell me that being at the honor walk was one of the most amazing yet heartbreaking moments of their life.”
A friend of the family helped set up a GoFundMe account as they battle with the loss of Clete, as he was their breadwinner. “My husband did not have life insurance so every bit will help us,” Carrie tells us. Their youngest two year old daughter, Samantha, has Down syndrome, which means a number of doctor and therapy appointments along with the rest of the family’s expenses.
However, one good thing has come out of this following his loss following his funeral on June 27. Carrie decided to send a letter to LifeCenter, a Cincinnati organization that helps facilitate organ and tissue donation, requesting their assistance in locating John Mock, the recipient of Clete’s liver. It would transpire that Carrie wasn’t the only one looking to make contact.
On June 22nd Mock had asked his daughter to find Clete’s family as he was heading into surgery, “I wanted to thank this family for saving my life — I would be dead without them — and offer my condolences,” he explains.
So that’s exactly what happened, take a look at the video below of when they met.
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