A Minnesota third-grader who suffered a fatal head injury spent his 10th and final birthday giving the gift of life.
Ridge Scolley turned 10 years old on Tuesday — and though he was in the hospital with a brain injury, he still managed to make the day meaningful by donating his organs to those in need.
“[His family has] made the decision based on knowing that Ridge would want to help others by donating his organs,” says a GoFundMe page organized by his aunt Stacey Morris. “Ridge will be turning 10 tomorrow, March 10th and since he cannot receive gifts, he will be giving the gift of life to one or more through organ donation.”
Morris wrote on the page that Ridge’s immediate family accompanied him on a “Hero Walk” and escorted him into the operating room, where they said their final goodbyes.
“They found the strength to stay up all night to spend every last moment with their son,” she wrote.
Ridge, from Frazee, Minn., suffered a brain injury while playing basketball with family members.
“Ridge was doing what he loved most, playing basketball with his cousins he so admired and friends when he lost his balance and hit the back of his head,” according to the GoFundMe.
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He was life-flighted to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota, where doctors determined he would not be able to recover from his injuries.
GoFundMe Ridge Scolley
“Ridge had such a compassionate heart and loved life and we know he would want to remind all of us to be kind to others, do things in your life to make a difference and don’t ever have any regrets,” the GoFundMe reads.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, on Tuesday, Ridge’s birthday, his parents and two older siblings stood outside the hospital and raised its “donate life” flag, which signals that an organ transplant is occurring inside.
The first recipient from Ridge’s donation is a 6-year-old boy, the GoFundMe says.
“We are going to miss him, and to be able to do this on his birthday is incredible,” his uncle Matt Morris told the outlet of his nephew, who had dreams of playing in the NBA. “He loved to hug people. All his friends, his teachers, his family, he would give them a side hug and love on everybody.”