Mon, Jan 02, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Tragic American donates organs to local patients

By Jenny Chou  /  STAFF REPORTER

In death, Christopher Lee Giebel offered renewed hope for the new year for local patients who received critical organs that he had agreed to donate.

Twenty-one-year-old Christopher Giebel from Illinois in the US died after a serious car accident last Friday. Prior to his death, Christopher had been studying Chinese at the Cheng Kung University language center for three months.

Following the consent of his parents, Chuck and Robin Giebel, who flew to Taiwan from the US upon hearing the tragic news, Christopher's heart, liver, kidneys and retinas were removed for donation on Saturday.

Christopher's father yesterday said that although he felt deep sorrow at the death of his son, he and his family knew that Christopher and God would be happy about the lives that Christopher's organ donations had helped to save.

According to Cheng Kung University Hospital Public Relations Head Wu Cheng-I (吳正儀), Christopher's parents initially had difficulty accepting the idea that they wouldn't be able to take his body back to the US in complete form due to the lacerations that would be made during the process of organ removal. But, following talks with a priest and their family back in the US, they had decided to respect Christopher's decision to donate his organs.

Since then, however, a way has been found of mending the lacerations and Christopher's body will be flown back to the US in complete form for burial.

Wu added that Christopher's parents hoped Christopher's spirit would live on in the people that he'd helped to save.

Christopher's kidneys and retinas will be donated to patients at Cheng Kung University Hospital while suitable recipients for Christopher's heart and liver have been found at Taiwan National University hospital and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Kaoshiung, respectively.

Patients at Cheng Kung University hospital who will receive Christopher's organs include a 21-year-old female teacher and a little boy surnamed Kuo.

Kuo's parents expressed deep gratitude at Christopher's generosity and said that they would pass on his act of love.

Wu said: "Christopher's actions have helped many people and reflect a very giving and caring attitude."

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