Odessa Man's Tragic Death Helps Save Other People's Lives
July 20, 2011 at 10:28 PM CDT - Updated June 24 at 7:05 PM
by Anayeli Ruiz NewsWest 9
ODESSA - An Odessa family is mourning the loss of their loved one. A 40-year old man was electrocuted in his home after a freak accident. The family is using this tragedy to help other people.
The Garcia family told NewsWest 9 that this is an odd way of dying, even the hospital told them so, but they are able to turn this tragedy into the gift of life.
Last Thursday night, 40-year-old Gilbert Garcia arrived home as usual. But he noticed something wasn't right with his TV, so he decided to fix it.
"He unplugged the TV, they vacuumed it out. It was pretty much done," Gilbert Garcia's Stepson, Josh Robinett, said.
Gilbert's wife left to change her granddaughter's diaper and when she came back she found her husband on the floor.
"She came back and it had electrocuted him with it being unplugged from the wall. It doesn't make any sense to us but what we found out was those TV's actually hold a charge even when they are unplugged up to 25,000 volts," Robinett said.
Gilbert's wife immediately began CPR on Gilbert and she called 911.
"The ambulance, they came and got him really quick and they took him to Medical Center. They soon realized that they did all they could for him. So they sent him to Lubbock and he spent five days there while he was on life support running different tests and eventually they told us that he was brain dead," Robinett said.
The family then made the heartbreaking decision to take him off life support and donated his organs.
"On his ID it didn't say that was something he was willing to do but it didn't say that he wasn't and I know my dad he is a very giving person so we decided that he can live on through other people," Robinett said.
The Garcia family was able to donate three of his organs to three different people. But donations like the one the Garcia family made are down all across the U.S. even though there are more willing donors to sign up.
"It's really because the number of potential organ donors appear to have gone down. For instance, before we didn't have to wear seatbelts or helmets when we rode our bikes and now those are mandatory. While that is a great thing and that helps save lives, that certainly puts a damper in the number of people who die and a way they can be a potential donor," Pam Silvestri with the SouthWest Transplant Alliance, said.
Even though Gilbert died a tragic death, the Garcia family is happy to know a little part of him will help save other lives.
"It makes us feel good but it still hurts. It makes us feel good and we're very proud of him. We always will be, we will never forget him," Robinett said.
Gilbert Garcia didn't have life insurance and his family is trying to prepare a proper burial. If you like to help the family and make a monetary donation you can go to the American State bank. They have a memorial fund set up for Gilbert Garcia, the account number is 6804284.