In death, Chardon shooting victim saves lives

CHARDON, Ohio -- Northeast Ohioans will never forget the day of the Chardon High School shootings. For those parents who lost children that day, their lives are forever changed.

One of those parents, the mother of Demetrius Hewlin, wants you to know how her son saved lives that day.

DEMETRIUS' STORY: Mother of Chardon shooting victim has no room for anger

"Demetrius was a phenomenal young man," says his mother, Phyllis Ferguson.

On February 27, 2012, Demetrius was one of three students shot at Chardon High School. All three died.

"I was at mass when they announced shooting at school, I stopped and prayed because I didn't know whose child it was..but it was mine," says Phyllis Ferguson. "You prepare them for life and I guess you prepare them for death too. He was an organ donor, he wanted others to live like he did."

Demetrius and his grandmother had a special bond, and when he was four he realized she needed a kidney. He decided to become an organ donor and kept that promise at 13, when he got a state ID.

"From being an organ donor he was able to save 7 lives and from tissue donation, he impacted about 100 people in 11 different states," says Lifebanc CEO Gordon Bowen. "Demetrius was a hero."

This is National Minority Donor Awareness Week, and there is a critical need for minority donors. That's why Phyllis Ferguson wanted to talk about Demetrius. More than 120,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants, nearly 1,900 of those live here in Northeast Ohio.

For more information on becoming a donor:

Follow WKYC's Kim Wheeler on Twitter: @KimWheelerWKYC


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