Families share stories of organ donation at UIHC - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Families share stories of organ donation at UIHC


A strong faith has helped Bruce and Tiffiny Brockway through unthinkable tragedy.

"It would be easy to not get out of bed in the morning, and to cry and just be in a deep dark place," said Tiffiny Brockway.

Their ten-year-old son Garrett has always had quite the impact on those around him, whether rooting for his beloved Cardinals or showing compassion for others.

But that life was cut inexplicably short this past February after an accident in the family's yard.

"There are tough days, and those are the days we really lean on our faith in God," said Bruce Brockway.

After several days in the pediatric intensive care unit at the UI Hospitals it became clear, Garrett wasn't going to make it.

"(We were) approached with the thought of organ donation separately, we spoke together and we were both on board immediately," said Bruce Brockway.

"That makes this horrifically tragic event positive for us," said Tiffini Brockway.

Fast forward to Tuesday, where the Brockway's found themselves sitting next to Amanda Zenner, a mom who once wondered if she would ever get to see her baby boy Mason grow up.

Mason was born with a congenital heart defect and needed a transplant.

"At 30 weeks we thought we were going to lose him," Zenner said.

Six months after his birth, the Zenner's got the call they had been waiting for.

"It was his cardiologist Dr. Edens he said don't get too excited but we might have a possible match for Mason," Zenner said.

The Brockway's and the Zenner's, who sit on opposite ends of the donor spectrum, are now big advocates.

Mason is now an energetic four year old with a healthy heart.

Meanwhile, Garrett has now saved the lives of five different people, all in need of transplants.

"That brought us a lot of joy and comfort and that's what this whole process has done for us," said Tiffini Brockway.

Nationwide 117,000 people are on the waiting list, 600 of them from Iowa.

To learn more about organ donation visit the Iowa Donor Network by clicking here.

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