LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Courtney Kaplan and Michael Sigler were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. On Friday, they met the man who received their son’s lungs through organ donation.
“Having that introduction of hope and strength and life coming in during the worst moment of our lives changed everything for us,” Kaplan said.
In the courtyard of the Nevada Donor Network, the family embraced Harold Peck, one of Michael’s organ recipients.
“Michael is still alive through me,” Peck said.
In May of 2019, Michael Sigler, 18, was weeks away from his high school graduation, until one afternoon, a driver struck Michael’s motorcycle. He was rushed to the hospital to fight for his life.
Michael was a registered organ donor, and they had to have a difficult discussion with the Nevada Donor Network.
“I had two more days to just sit with him and to be able to rub my fingers through his hands that I would not have had otherwise,” Sigler said. “Such a gift is immeasurable.”
Michael’s parents made the hardest decision of their lives after doctors told them that their son had a 5% chance of survival. They decided to donate Michael’s organs.
In Texas, years before Michael’s death, Peck had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that occurs when lung tissue is damaged or scarred. Over time, it got worse, and in 2016 he was placed on the transplant list. After five failed potential donors and years of waiting and hoping, Michael became his miracle.
“I’m B-negative, which is a rare type of blood,” Peck said. “But everything we got was just perfect. Most people have to go on bypass machines, most people have to go on blood transfusions. We ended up with nothing; with none of that stuff. It was just a miracle.”
Michael saved Peck's life, and it’s a sacrifice neither family will forget.
“For the rest of my life, I want to do nothing but honor Michael and the gift that he gave,” Sigler said.
On Saturday, Aug. 28, the Nevada Donor Network will host its annual Inspire Gala. The event helps raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation as well as expand transplant capabilities in the State of Nevada.