Sam Megna

Sam Megna was just 9 years old when a tragic accident left him unresponsive without hope of recovery. His family—mom Carol, dad Mark and sister Courtney—made the selfless decision to donate his organs.

Sam Megna

Sam Megna defied all the odds. Born at 30 weeks, he had struggles from the get-go: he was only 2 pounds 13 ounces at birth and was diagnosed with a neonatal brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow. His doctors didn’t think he’d make it through the night. “He overcame all of that; he was a green belt in tae kwon do, he was an Italian folk dancer—he was a good boy,” says his mom, Carol. “He went through more than most people would, but he always did it with a smile.”

On July 20, 2017, Carol received a phone call that changed her family’s lives forever. Nine-year-old Sam was at day camp when he choked on his lunch and was rushed to Children’s Wisconsin, where he was unresponsive. “Sam was placed in a medically induced coma. For nine endless days we prayed, listened for any ounce of improvement from the doctors, and even started making a plan for when he came home,” Carol says.

But on July 28, doctors informed Carol, her husband Mark and their daughter Courtney that there was no hope for Sam’s recovery. “At that moment when you’re sitting there and they tell you that there’s no hope and you have somebody come in and ask to donate his organs—we did not hesitate,” Carol says. “We just said yes.”

“In my eyes, he was a baby. I never would have thought in a million years that we’d have to make that decision, but we did,” she continues. “And I’m glad we did. He was put here for a reason; he saved somebody else from having to go through what we went through.”

Sam’s heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and corneas were all donated to people in need. Because of his family’s selfless gift, six people were given a second chance at life. “For him to be taken was tragic, but he saved people’s lives,” Carol says.

Since Sam’s passing, the Megna family has raised money and awareness for organ and tissue donation. “It’s therapeutic for me to talk about Sam and make people aware that he was here—that he was a little boy,” Carol says. “If I can help somebody else, it heals me a little.”


Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list.

Approximately 113,000 men, women, and children are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. One organ donor has the power to save up to eight lives and change the outcomes of someone’s world forever by giving them a second chance. Additionally, tissue donation can save and improve the lives of up to 75 people with their gifts. You can make a huge impact by registering as an organ and tissue donor.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation, or register as a donor at https://donatelifewisconsin.org.

Impact Stories | Organ & Tissue Donation

 
Judges Derek Mosley and JoAnn Eiring
In 2014, Derek was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. Already his colleague and close friend, JoAnn got tested to see if she could donate her kidney and save Derek’s life.
 
Amanda Orosco
After having two emergency C-sections with her first two children, Amanda Orosco decided to have a scheduled C-section to deliver her daughter, Liliana.
 
Molly Blackwood
In 2018, Molly underwent a tissue transplant to fuse her spine and allow new bone to grow. Thanks to the transplant, Molly is completely healed and back to living a fulfilling life.
 
Become an Organ and Tissue Donor
Learn more about how to sign up as an organ, tissue and eye donor and how organ donation saves and enhances lives in our communities.
 
Share Your Story
Versiti invites you to share your story and photo to help encourage more people to give back. You may even be featured throughout the year on our social media.
 
Impact Stories
Your blood, organ and tissue, and other donations directly impact lives in your community. Read a few of the examples of some of the lives that have been changed for the better.
 
Ways to Give
You can support Versiti’s mission in several ways, including donating blood, hosting a blood drive, joining the organ and tissue donor registry, and more.