The family of a 14-year-old who died in a UTV accident in October held a celebration of the boy’s life Monday night in Hyannis, where they got to meet two recipients of the teen’s organs.
Parker Shipman was always outgoing and generous, his father, JP Shipman, told the Cape Cod Times. When the 14-year-old died on Oct. 26 in North Brookfield, his parents decided to keep his giving spirit alive by donating his organs.
“He was a very happy child. Such a magical kid,” Shipman told the Times. “He was always taking care of his friends.”
During the celebration at the Hyannis Yacht Club Monday night, the teen’s family got to meet two of the people their son helped after he died.
Jennifer Burns Gayweski, whose daughter Rylee received one of Parker’s kidneys, told 7 News she’ll “never forget the day we got that call that they had a kidney for her.”
Her 15-year-old daughter was in renal failure and was on dialysis when the donated organ became available, according to the Times.
“I couldn’t swim or take a shower,” Rylee told the newspaper. “I couldn’t do any sports. I was exhausted all the time. I could sleep 24 hours a day.”
Kevin Murray, 67, of Beverly, who suffers from a hereditary lung disease was able to get a double lung transplant thanks to Parker, according to the Times.
“[I’m] very grateful. […] I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t have made last Christmas without the donation,” Murray told 7 News. “They were able to save five people. (That’s) just overwhelming.”
The 67-year-old told the Times it was evident that the 14-year-old was “an incredible child.”
According to the newspaper, Parker was riding on the UTV when it struck a tree. His older brother, Brady Shipman, performed CPR on Parker and carried him to the road to meet the paramedics.
The 18-year-old was recognized Monday for helping to keep his younger brother alive long enough that his organs could be donated, 7 News reports.
Parker was a freshman at North Brookfield High School at the time, where he played basketball and soccer, according to his obituary.
“Parker enjoyed the outdoors and all things ocean especially boating,” his family wrote.
“It’s difficult to talk about, even more difficult to wake up in the morning, but the only thing that we’ve been able to draw onto is that the fact that through the organ donation process, five other people’s lives have been changed,” Parker’s father told 7 News.