Hit and run victim’s organ donation saved four lives

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HUDSONVILLE, Mich.-- A man killed in a hit and run crash last month has given the gift of life. Korey Taphouse died when he was hit by a car while walking along a road in Ottawa County. His wife, Emily, recently found out Taphouse's organs were donated to save the lives of four different people.

Emily Taphouse says it's absolutely the only good thing that could come out of her husband's death. Korey's kidneys, pancreas and heart were donated to four different people giving them a second chance at life.

Korey Taphouse was 30-years-old when it was killed in a hit and run accident in Georgetown Township in late November. When he turned 30  in August, he decided to become an organ donor when he was renewing his drivers license.

"He turned 30 in August and he had sat down because I had been on the donor list for a while and he did his own research and decided that this time around when he renewed his license that he wanted to be a donor as well," said Emily Taphouse, Korey's wife.

Emily received a letter this week from the Gift of Life saying Korey's organs had gone on to help four people.

"It's a lot of emotions," said Taphouse. "It's sadness, but it's also the only good thing that can come out of a situation like this. I"m so happy for those people that they can get that chance now because of him."

Korey's kidneys, pancreas and heart were donated and now, Emily wants to try and meet those people; especially the man who received his heart.

"I think the biggest one would be if I could meet the man, the 59-year-old man, who got his heart," said Taphouse. "I would love to meet him one day and as corny as it sounds, I would like to hear his heart beat and have my girls hear that too."

Korey left behind two daughters who are able to say their dad is a hero.

"I was able to tell Hazel, my 4-year-old, that her daddy was a superhero," said Taphouse. "He gets to save lives and  I think that was really special to her."

Korey's decision to become an organ donor is one Emily says will always make her proud.

"I guess I'm just really proud of him," said Taphouse. "There's a lot of stuff that comes with that decision for the family and friends and everybody else that's going through it and I"m just really proud of him."

Emily says multiple people have called her since Korey's death saying they've decided to become organ donors after hearing their story. Emily will be writing four letters in the next few days for each of the four people who received Korey's organs then the Gift of Life will send the letters. It will be up to the four people who received the organs to decide if they want to meet.

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