Teen Who Donated Organs Gets Hospital’s ‘Honor Walk,’ After Crash That Left Him Brain Dead
Hundreds of nurses, physicians, hospital staff and friends and family lined the hallways of a Nevada hospital to honor a beloved teen left brain dead from a motorcycle crash before he was taken to donate his organs. The heart-wrenching tribute, which honored 18-year-old Michael Sigler, marked the first-ever “Honor Walk” for the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada.
On May 17 – just a week before his high school graduation, Sigler was driving his motorcycle through his Las Vegas community when he tragically collided with a car, which was driven by a fellow senior classmate. Shockingly, Sigler did not suffer any internal organ damage or external wounds, but he suffered head trauma that led him to become brain dead.
A few months before his fatal crash, Sigler got his motorcycle license at a Las Vegas DMV with his mom Courtney Kaplan. When filling out the paperwork he unexpectedly embraced the idea of organ donation. “Once I explained to him what the benefits are, he grabbed the application from me and check-marked all of the possible options that you can do,” Kaplan explained. “I would not have expected that reaction. As kind and as generous as he was, that, to me, was a whole other level of being selfless, of generosity and being giving…”
UMC was privileged to recognize the “final journey of this remarkable man” who selflessly gave the gift of life to nine people through organ donation. The staff thanked him for “being a true hero.” “It was absolutely overwhelming,” Kaplan said. “I looked up from my point of view and all I could see on the horizon were people almost lining the gates of heaven… I couldn’t see the floor, I almost felt like we were floating — like we were gliding through this guided journey.
It’s really the most beautiful tragedy that I could ever imagine or be a part of. As tragic as losing a child is, it almost feels like this whole thing was orchestrated for this very purpose just because all the people that it took… it had to be divinely arranged.”