WARNING: The video above could be difficult for some people to watch.
Hundreds of nurses, physicians and other medical staff lined the hallways of UMC this morning as Michael Sigler was wheeled to an operating room to have organs removed for donation.
Sigler sustained critical injuries in a motorcycle crash on May 17 and remained on life support at the UMC Trauma Center to help fulfill his wish to donate his organs.
“Today, our team had the unique privilege of paying our respects to a true hero who will continue to touch the lives of others,” said UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling. “As we mourn the loss of a remarkable, compassionate young man, we must also celebrate his selfless decision to give the gift of life.”
Remembered by his friends and family members as a kind, considerate young man who took pride in helping others and found solace in the freedom of the open road, Sigler made the decision to become an organ donor just two months ago.
“He saw the precious gift that life is,” Sigler’s mother, Courtney Kaplan, said. “He saw that there is a bigger picture.”
On the same day as the motorcycle crash, Sigler returned home after purchasing his cap and gown for his upcoming high school graduation. When he received a call from a friend asking for help with homework, Sigler didn’t think twice.
“Of course, Mikey left at the drop of a hat,” Kaplan said. “But he didn’t make it there.”
Kaplan said three community members performed CPR to help save her son at the scene of the crash, including a UMC Trauma nurse who happened to be passing by.
Kaplan and her family members find strength amid overwhelming grief by recognizing the impact of Sigler’s selfless gift.
“You can’t help but stand back and be in awe,” she said. “I want Mikey to be proud of this wherever he is.”