Christopher Carlson’s parents prayed for a miracle to save their 18-year-old son from dying of head injuries he suffered falling out of a loft bed in a dorm room at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. But when doctors declared him brain dead four days after the accident, Carlson’s parents saw a chance to turn his death into a miracle for others.
“We decided to donate all of his organs,” said David Carlson, of Ladysmith. His son, a freshman, hoped to be a physician some day. “We didn’t get our miracle, but now other people are getting theirs.”
At least 60 people benefited from Christopher’s tissue and bone donations alone. Seven other people received his organs. One person got Christopher’s heart and another person got a lung and kidney. On other person got a lung, another received a liver, someone else got the second kidney and another two people got Christopher’s corneas.
A tree was planted outside of Laux Hall at the UW-La Crosse Campus in memory of Christopher Carlson. Christopher wanted to be a doctor to help people and in a way the donations of organs and tissue were his contribution to medicine.