Leopauld Sanchez, main photo, was filmed during his final moments as his mother Ayie and father Jason said goodbye to him following a car crash that left him fatally injured (Pictures: ABC30)
This is the moment a mother and father said goodbye to their crash victim toddler while he was wheeled to organ donation surgery that saved three lives. Ayie Sanchez sobbed uncontrollably as she embraced her one year-old son Leopauld during his final moments on Monday night.
Her husband Jason, Leopauld’s dad, raised himself from the wheelchair the crash left him confined to and said ‘You’re a hero son, you’re a hero.’ Jason, a sailor with the US Marines, donned his uniform for the occasion.
He also gave his son a final salute before doctors at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, California, wheeled the little boy off. The ‘honor walk’ saw other staff at the facility form a guard of honor as Leopauld was taken into surgery.
His heartrending goodbye took place two months after a wrong way driver smashed into the car carrying Leopauld, his parents, his five year-old sister Basha, and eight year-old brother Neo.
Leopauld was the most gravely-injured in the crash. He and Neo both had to be airlifted to Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center.
Neo went on to recover, but doctors found Leopauld’s skull had been separated from his spine from the force of the impact. Doctors were initially unwilling to operate, warning that the slightest movement could kill the toddler.
He was later moved to Valley Children’s Hospital, after doctors there agreed to perform surgery. Afterwards, Leopauld initially appearing to show signs of improvement, and opened his eyes.
But his family’s hopes were dashed after his health worsened again shortly afterwards, and a scan showed that the one year-old was brain dead.
Lepauld’s parents told ABC30 that they were determined to try and help others, and offered to donate their late son’s organs.
A six month-old boy received Leopauld’s heart, while a baby girl was given his liver, and his kidneys have been donated to an adult.
Jason explained: ‘Doing that, we know that a part of our son will still live. He is a miracle to these three individuals that have been asking for miracles.’
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Leopauld’s family. To find out more or donate click here