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Drowning victim gives gift of life

By Karissa Manis, Producer, kmanis@wcyb.com
Published On: Jul 03 2013 09:58:30 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 03 2013 03:26:07 PM CDT

It has been one year since Tina and Luke Bell lost their son Samuel.

Tina Bell described her son Samuel as "A very giving person, that just loved to live life." It has been one year since Tina and Luke Bell lost their son Samuel, a week after his big brother Harrison's wedding. "Samuel was the one who walked me down the aisle," Tina says.

The incident happened the day after his 19th birthday. "His birthday, he went out sky diving actually that day and then the day after, July 1st, is when this happened," Tina continues.

You may remember our news report which stated according to police, Samuel died after he jumped out of a tree on a cliff. He landed in Fort Patrick Henry Lake on July 1st of last year."They had been doing some cliff jumping in the past," his father Luke says, "but they had been doing it at lower elevations."
"He went to the highest level which is approximately 90 feet," Tina adds.

Witnesses at the scene said Samuel climbed out onto a tree to jump, but his foot got caught, which caused him to land on his side in the lake.
They say he never came up.

A few weeks ago, his family received a letter stating that Samuel was an organ donor. "We had talked about that when he was 17 about him donating organs, and it just came up probably about him changing his license on his 18th," Luke tells us.

As of June 12th, he has touched 39 lives across the United States. "When you start looking at taking bone graphs, tissue, and things that, a lot of people probably don't realize that you can donate."

Samuel has left behind a legacy. "It's awesome." Luke says. "It makes me even more proud." He is now living out his dream, through others."Samuel's dream was to be able to travel all over the world and see everything and now he's able to do that," Tina says. "He's traveling everywhere that he wanted to go."

Luke and Tina have not been in touch with any of the 39 organ or tissue recipients. We're told there is a certain time they have to wait before they can do so.

If you would like to be an organ donor, you can visit http://organdonor.gov/becomingdonor/index.html for more information.