The priceless gift - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

The priceless gift


Bob was three months short of his 18th birthday in September 2000, when his vehicle crested a hill and ran into a county tar truck on the wrong side of the road. He never regained consciousness.

THE TALL, SHY young man had planned to move to Madison after graduation. His family, including his aunt Mary Pengra, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Director of Volunteer Services, had dreams for him, and Mary remembers that day vividly.

“The accident was a devastating blow to us,” Mary says. “Together, we came to the conclusion that donating Bob’s organs might allow others a better quality of life.”

Bob’s donation included eyes, kidneys and skin.

“It’s amazing how much of a person can be used to bless others,” Mary says.

Years later, Mary became a Lion’s Club member. The first time she delivered eyes for transplantation, she recalls, “I prayed the entire time that it would make a difference in someone’s life.”

Donating organs helps put life into perspective, Mary says, adding that her family truly feels Bob would have approved.

Mary has always opted to be an organ donor, which is designated on her driver’s license. She encourages others to do the same by visiting

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