MANILA, Philippines – Though cut short, three-year-old Ezra Jacob Rosario’s life has been well-lived, as the young hero’s organs paved the way to extend the life of another, making him the country’s youngest organ donor as of date as declared by the Human Organ Preservation Effort (HOPE), the organ procurement arm of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).
The young boy was pronounced “brain dead” after numerous attempts to revive him at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Metro Manila, after his drowning accident at a resort while celebrating his and his twin brother’s 3rd birthday.
The young boy’s family made another push to fight on after the initial call, but according to Ezra’s mother, “after numerous attempts, they couldn’t find anymore brain activity, his heart became reliant on dopamine and epinephrine, his temperature kept dropping, and there was no longer spontaneous breathing. No amount of science and money could save our boy.”
The tragedy happened a day after the church wedding of Ezra’s parents. The family of four were just visiting the Philippines from the United States for the special occasion.
Coming from a family of doctors, Ezra’s parents made the unimaginably difficult but courageous decision to donate their precious child’s viable organs.
“This is the legacy we can give our child, so he lives on in the lives of others through sacrifice and the gift of generosity,” Jennae, the young hero’s mother, said in a public Facebook post.
Both of Ezra’s kidneys were successfully transplanted to a 24-year old recipient on the same day of harvesting last November 12th.
His corneas have since been distributed successfully to two recipients: a 22-year-old and a 3-year-old recipient who are now recovering from the procedure.
“The pain of losing him is massive and has definitely impacted us in so many ways. No words can explain how we feel and only time can tell how and when we can start to heal. The thought of our son being able to successfully extend and improve the quality of lives of others is a gift, as though he is physically gone, he is also, in some way, walking, living, and seeing life through others,” Jennae said.
HOPE-NKTI extended their utmost gratitude and condolences to the bereaved family, saying: “We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of our young hero and our heartfelt appreciation for their brave decision. Thank you for your generosity to help others despite the painful loss. May God bless your kind hearts all throughout this lifetime.”
“Ezra will forever be in our hearts although it is hard to fathom this new reality. We still feel that all this is a nightmare that we’ll eventually wake up from. In a span of a week, we’ve continuously blamed ourselves, made decisions left and right that no parent should ever have to make, cried all our tears, prayed our hardest, imagined all the should have beens and even wished it should have just been me,” Jennae said in a separate post.
In a separate interview, Ezra’s grandfather, Dr. Medeldorf Gaoat, who is a provincial board member of Ilocos Norte, said it was an honor to have a grandson who died as a young hero.
While no one was to blame for the accident, the provincial board member said he will be initiating safety measures to ensure that swimming pools, especially those that flow into rivers and beaches, are properly guarded to avoid similar incident in the future.
After a funeral mass, Young Ezra’s remains have been cremated in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and will be brought to the US in the near future.
“It’s true what they say- that no parent should have to bury their children, but what I can truly testify to is the authentic, unendurable pain of a mother who lost her son. My heart is broken, a piece of my soul is gone, my life has changed forever, and it will never be the same again,” Ezra’s mother said.
The only consolation of all this pain is the belief that Ezra is an ANGEL in the heavens, and a HERO here on earth. He has fulfilled his purpose being the strong, brave warrior that he always was. When it was time to stop fighting he still gave to others whatever was left of him. He’s left his imprint in this world and I hope everyone, even those who he never knew, would start to live life with a little more wit, humility, integrity, generosity, and love.Jennae, Ezra’s mother
– with reports from Philippine News Agency