After days of prayer and consideration, the parents of 11-year-old Anthony Fowler shared on CaringBridge.org their anguished decision to donate their son’s organs after he was declared brain-dead on Monday:
“The doctors pronounced Anthony’s brain death on February 13 in the afternoon. We as a family received the final confirmation on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. It was then we decided to offer what Anthony had to give, the parts of his body he no longer would use. This took a lot of coordination to find the recipients and get the teams together from the various sites. The plan was for around 2 am on 2/16. At the last minute it was delayed by air traffic control diverting flights for a high profile visitor coming in to town, but ultimately the planning came to be.
Early this morning at 4:56 am, his heart stopped and Anthony made the ultimate sacrifice to give so many others a chance to live…..Today as with every other day, he is our hero. As his parents we are sad but at the same time very proud that our son has given the gift of life to others. We looked on with sadness in our hearts, tears in our eyes, but a smile of pride as they wheeled him into the OR.
You see, Anthony is still giving. Only Anthony has the ability to continue to give all that love from Heaven while his body remains on earth.
We love you Anthony! Your love and strength we know has placed you at the hand of God, and a protector in Heaven. We will see you guarding the gates of Heaven our soldier.”
Anthony was seriously injured when a tunnel he was digging collapsed on him and buried him.
Temecula Police Department officials responded to a distress call just after 4 p.m. on Feb. 4 to a dry riverbed southeast of Long Canyon Creek Park located at 40356 N. General Kearny Road in Temecula.
Two 11-year-old boys were digging tunnels into the riverbank when dirt from the tunnel collapsed on them.
One of the boys was able to free himself and call for help.
Anthony Fowler was transported to Rancho Springs Medical Center, and then on to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego in critical condition.