A hero, a son, an organ donor
BURLESON – The “Corey Car” is a poignant physical reminder of the late Corey Hudgins, a 2003 Burleson High School graduate many now regard as a hero.
His mother certainly does.
Hudgins was only 27 when he died during a tragic Fort Worth motorcycle accident in May 2013.
But two months before he died, the Mansfield resident signed the paperwork to become a donor to LifeGift.
LifeGift partners with more than 200 hospitals across 109 counties as the designated organ procurement organization for north, southeast and west Texas.
After Hudgins died, his decision to donate his body to help others in need of tissue transplants resulted in as many as 349 procedures in which his tissue was used, LifeGift officials said.
As a result of Hudgins’ selfless decision,, many lives have been both saved and enhanced.
“He’s helped people ranging in age from 17 to 81,” said Huggins’ mother, Kelli Grisso Moorhead of Burleson, a proud LifeGift volunteer. “These are people who needed and used his skin, his veins and his bones. In some cases, they ground his bones down for use during dental surgery.”
Jason Morse, director of tissue recovery and business development for LifeGift, said the magnitude of Corey Hudgins’ donation is astounding. He considers 349 grafts to be an amazing number.
“It’s an astounding number,” Morse said. “Every donor is a hero because he or she chose to do this. One tissue donation can save 50 lives. But 349 is the largest I have seen in my 15 years (in the industry).”
Moorhead said she took on this cause of promoting LifeGift to help keep alive the memory of her son. She urges others to get involved.
Donating his organs to LifeGift fits in with the character of Corey Hudgins – a man who never met a stranger and was always willing to help anyone in need, his mother said.
And now, in honor of Hudgins’ actions, a special vehicle has been created in his memory.
Known as either the “Corey Car” or the “Corey Mobile,” it is a brightly-colored 2015 Chevy Captiva emblazoned with a large likeness of the young donor – a 2007 graduate of Tarleton State University – on both sides.
“It took a month of coordinated effort to get the photo on there and to get it done,” explained Laura Frnka-Davis, LifeGift managing director of communications.
The “Corey Car” is used frequently for the duties of LifeGift employees.
On her Facebook page, Moorhead discuses quite a bit the blessings she said working with LifeGift has given her.
“I’m so proud of Corey for being a LifeGift tissue donor,” she wrote on Facebook.
Moorhead, Morse and and Frnka-Davis recently appeared to discuss the issue on the Burleson Star Live internet radio show.
For information about the organization, access http://www.lifegift.org/