Bryan Family Touched by Organ Donation...Twice

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A big milestone for organ donations in Texas -- there are now more than seven million registered donors in the state.

1.4 million new donors signed up in 2014 alone. News 3's Kristen Guilfoos recently met a Bryan family who knows all too well how important organ donation can be.

For 9-year-old Erick Gray, a seemingly simple bike ride has been years in the making.

His mom, Susan, tears up just thinking about it. "From him not being able to ride his bike to the end of our street to going two miles this weekend. For the first time ever."

The miracle moment is all thanks to the new lungs Erick received just three weeks ago. The lungs he was born with were damaged beyond repair by a rare virus.

Susan says, "He'd been on oxygen since he was one year old. We knew he'd eventually need a lung transplant."

On January 14th, the big moment arrived.

Erick's Dad Russell says, "We got a phone call and about two hours later we were in Houston and the following day, surgery. "

Erick says, "They put me in a bed and I don't know what they did because I was asleep."

What the doctors did was a lung transplant, and while Erick's parents say they are forever thankful, it was also bittersweet, because they know their family's gift was only possible because of another family's tragedy.

Susan says, "I don't take that lightly at all. I realize that somebody who made the choice to make their child an organ donor made the choice to give our family the gift of life."

This is not the first time the Gray family has been impacted by the organ donor registry. It's just the first time they've been on the receiving end.

Susan says, "I lost my two children 12 years ago in a car accident, and my daughter was a donor. She was able to donate eyes and tissue. To be on this side of it has been an incredible journey. He wants to play soccer. He wants to play baseball. and now all of those things are possible because of organ donation."