Losing a husband, a father, a family member is not easy to take. When Cletus Schneider suddenly passed away, his wife and children were left having a difficulty in accepting the unfortunate news.
However, though Cletus has passed away, parts of him still lives today. Unbeknownst to his wife, Carrie, Cletus signed himself up as an organ donor, a decision that saved the lives of 50 people.
“I was in the other room talking to Clete, and I was getting annoyed because he wasn’t answering me. When I walked over to him, I realized he was choking. Then he collapsed.”
Carrie recounted the painful night she almost lost her husband. She tried her best to give first aid treatment to Cletus, however two days after he was rushed to the hospital, he was pronounced brain-dead.
Carrie hasn’t yet fully understood what just happened, yet the medical staff already began poking and prodding Cletus. Apparently, the medical staff were evaluating Cletus’ body organs if he was a suitable organ donor. Minutes later, the verdict was given and the loving father was whisked out of the room to remove his organs.
With tears still falling on her face, Carrie walked out of the hospital room. Little did she know that awaiting in the hallway, were the medical staff, their loved ones, and even strangers all lined up in the corridor. The Life Center Organ Donor Network calls it The Honor Walk.
“It’s called an Honor Walk. The breathtaking moment when friends, family, and hospital staff line the halls as a hero who chose to be an organ donor makes their way to save lives. Cletus Schnieders gave the gift of life to more than 50 people through organ and tissue donation… Thanks to the Schneider’s Family for sharing this moment with us.”
Just a few minutes before sending Cletus’ organs to strangers across the country, the medical staff at Mercy West Hospital expressed their gratitude to Cletus and his family through an Honor Walk.
Carrie, though still grieving over her husband’s untimely demise, was touched by the kindness and appreciation which the medical staff expressed for Cletus. Carrie even shared how her husband’s decision to donate his organs is something that Cletus would really do. After all, he had a heart full of kindness and generosity to those who are in need.
After reflecting about her thoughts and feelings, Carrie shared what happened on her Facebook account.
“Today was the worst day of my life. My amazing husband was pronounced brain-dead around 9:30. He signed up to be an organ donor, which made this day even more heartbreaking with all of the tests and pokes they had to do on my love. I know due to his bravery he will give the life to many people… Selfishly I can’t see that far ahead and can only go with what I witnessed was done to Clete today…
The Honor Walk was so overwhelming with all of the people who came out to support Clete. I can’t believe how many people care about us. The nurses said this is the biggest crowd they have ever seen… Clete is the kind of man I want our boys to become and the kind of man I want our daughter to marry…”
According to Carrie, she was very much surprised when she saw the people who lined up at the hallway of the hospital. “My initial reaction was speechless. I feel like everything paused for a second as I turned the corner and saw all of the people who came out to support us. Letting him go at the end of the hallway was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. I still have friends and family reach out to me and tell me that being at the honor walk was one of the most amazing yet heartbreaking moments of their life…”
After posting what happened on her Facebook account, Carrie received numerous support online. “The first several nights I was getting messages from all over the world, even Australia. One man, in particular, reached out to me from Oregon, he wanted to thank me and Clete. Because of someone like Clete, he received a liver transplant and was able to watch his grandchildren grow up. That story really hit home since Clete also donated his liver.”
True enough, weeks after her husband’s untimely demise, Carrie was able to meet the man her husband was able to save. John Mock received Cletus’ liver. “After the first two minutes, it felt like we had known each other forever, just like a real family.” John shared how comfortable he is being with Carrie and her children.
A GoFundMe page was also set-up for Carrie and her children. Cletus, unfortunately, did not have a life insurance, and Carrie, being a full-time house wife is adjusting to her new life. Just like how Cletus did not hesitate to sign-up and donate his organs to help others, may we be generous with Carrier’s family and express support on their GoFundMe page.
Watch the tear-jerking video below to witness the heartwarming meeting between Carrie and Mock, the guy Cletus was able save thanks to his decision to be an organ donor!
Photo and Videos | 5WLWT and Carrie Schneider