The devastated family of a North Carolina father-of-six who died on Friday after he was knocked to the ground by an “intense wave” said his organs will be donated to potentially help dozens of people on the transplant waiting list.
Lee Dingle’s widow, Shannon, wrote on the family’s blog that the 37-year-old had been playing in the water with three of their children on Thursday, July 18 when the wave sent him crashing to the ground. Shannon Dingle said the "freak accident" broke his neck on impact, making his throat “swell so much his brain was deprived of oxygen for too long to recover.”
“Some heroes – including our kids – tried to save him, but it wouldn’t have mattered what they did. His body couldn’t recover from the initial injury,” she wrote.
Dingle’s parents told WSOCTV that the family would be donating his organs.
“It’s incredible to see how many North Carolinians really make that decision to save lives of complete strangers,” Danielle Niedfeldt, CEO and president of Carolina Donor Services, told the news outlet.
Friends have set up fundraisers for the family to help cover their unexpected costs. Shannon Dingle, who said she met her husband at age 18, asked for prayers.
“In all of this, I’m discovering I have the world’s best people,” she wrote, in part. “We all feel so held right now, but the person we’d like to hold us won’t do so this side of heaven. I didn’t know it was possible to feel both so loved and so empty all at the same time. This will be a long haul, our lives forever changed, so please keep loving us well months from now.”