Stories of Hope: David Rodriguez

David R

One of 14 children, David Horacio Rodriguez was a dependable son, loyal brother and loving uncle and friend. He was by far the favorite uncle of all 28 of his nieces and nephews. He played the role of surrogate father to all of them and they all knew they were his favorite. A joker, a kid at heart and a serious entertainment buff, David knew the lines to almost every movie or song he’d ever heard in his is life. He always had a story to tell and a warm loving hug to give.

One Sunday evening in March 2011, after spending the day with Lupe, the eldest of his seven sisters, David was struck by a speeding car as he crossed the street. Only two blocks from his home, he sustained multiple injuries and lacerations, including a devastating head injury. Although he was directly outside of a Kaiser hospital, his injuries were such that the responding medical units elected to have him sent to the trauma unit at LAC+USC Medical Center. He was pronounced brain dead the following day, but he remained on a ventilator until he was taken to surgery so his organs could be donated.

“Although my family and I are filled with sadness, we are comforted by the fact that David had chosen to be an organ donor,” said his sister Margarita. “He chose to give his organs and tissue to others in need. Whether through research, or by having his organs transplanted to give others a chance to live, David’s spirit lives on in the hearts of his loved ones as well as in the lives he helped.”

David did not achieve acclaim or notoriety beyond his family and friends, but his life and his compassion will not be forgotten. His final act of generosity reflects the best of human kindness, and who David truly was. It is the sincerest hope of his parents, 13 siblings, and 28 nieces and nephews that other individuals and families can experience the bittersweet comfort that comes from donation after such a loss. “Maybe one person will hear of my brother and his simple choice to check yes to being a donor at the DMV, and be encouraged to do the same,” said Margarita.

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