Military father spreads word about organ donation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Military father spreads word about organ donation

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - The father of a fallen soldier is spreading the word about organ donation. Austin Hamilton was an Army scout stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.

He died after an accidental shooting, but he was an organ donor, and he helped save the lives of five other people. 

Keith Hamilton is on a mission. The Tallahassee father wrapped this vehicle with a message to "Donate Life."

Hamilton is honoring the memory of his fallen son, Specialist Austin Spencer Hamilton, better known as Ash.

Ash became both an organ and tissue donor after his death, saving the lives of five others in the process.

After receiving a letter from one of the tissue recipients, Hamilton decided to form a foundation in his son's name. "He had eight surgeries on his leg and they were getting ready to amputate his leg and because my son's tissue was a perfect match they were able to save his leg," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says many people want to sign up as an organ donor, but are too nervous to go through with it. "A lot of people are scared about well if I'm in a car wreck they might come and get my organs too soon and that's not going to happen. There are several processes that the doctors are required to do by law."

The foundation is shooting for a thousand new organ donors this year. Hamilton says they don't just save lives, but enhance others as well. "Firefighters a lot of times get burned and they use the tissue to repair the skin of firefighters so it can enhance the lives of many people."

Sometimes all people need is a little education. Hamilton says once you inform people of the process, it takes a lot of the uncertainty out and you're able to move forward.

On August 20th and 21st there will be a Bowlathon at Rose Bowl in Thomasville. It will also include a silent auction to raise money for the Ash Foundation. For more information visit www.theashfoundation.org


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