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Utah families impacted by organ donation share their stories

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Posted at 9:46 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 23:46:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY — As she places a rose in front of the Give Life monument at the Salt Lake City Library, Lisa Osmond remembers a conversation she had with her 16-year-old son Adam.

"He said mom, if anything were to ever happen to me, I hope you`ll let them take whatever they can use to help someone else," says Osmond.

Adam had just learned about organ donation in Driver's Ed.

"That was just two weeks before he had a drug overdose," says Osmond.

When Adam passed away a few days later, Osmond never had to doubt what her son wanted. His liver went to a man named Steven who Osmond had the chance to meet a few years ago.

"We both just cried and we`re family today. We`re close," says Osmond.

15-year-old London Layton had a similar conversation with her parents, Casey and Torrie, right after getting her learner's permit.

"Her response was of course I`d help," says Casey Layton.

Shortly after that conversation, 15-year-old London mysteriously passed away in her sleep.

"That made it easy for us as parents to know what to do. Why we would do it," says Layton.

These conversations aren't typical, but Alex McDonald, the Director of Public Education at Intermountain Donor Services hopes to change that.

"These are things that most of us don`t expect to happen in our families so to have this discussion, to know what somebody wants, can make a huge difference in that decision," says McDonald.

For these families, the conversation made the decision about organ donation easy. A process that not only saved a life, but brought peace to theirs.

"I knew my son wasn`t ever going to come home that I knew, but boy I just have to tell you, I grabbed on to that lifeline, that hope that he could make a difference. I counted on that. I needed that," says Osmond.

If you didn't check yes on your driver's license, you don't need to get a new license. All you have to do, is register to be an organ donor on the website, yesutah.org.