BJ had a smile that was contagious and a heart that was bigger than he was. The youngest of five brothers, he was a gentle giant at 6’3”. BJ loved music, but football was his passion. His favorite team was the Oakland Raiders. There is no doubt that BJ would have made it to college playing football, said his mother, Marilyn. BJ’s dream was to play professionally.
On Halloween night in 2005, 14-year-old BJ went trick-or-treating with family members. The next morning, he woke up for school but complained of being dizzy and said his head hurt. When he fell, his mother called 911. He was rushed to the hospital. After an emergency craniotomy, BJ was put on a ventilator for seven days. But tests revealed he was brain dead. Surrounded by loved ones, his family decided to remove the ventilator.
What was not known until after his death was that BJ was born with an abnormal connection between artery and vein in his brain that caused a cerebral hemorrhage.
Through BJ’s death, he gave life to four other people with the donation of his heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. And his high school retired his jersey number, 58, at the home game dedicated to BJ on the night of his organ donation surgery.
BJ's story is courtesy of OneLegacy, Los Angeles, CA.