The death of one man has led to life for several others.
Junior featherweight Francisco “Paco” Rodriguez died two days after suffering a 10th-round TKO at the hands of Teon Kennedy on November 11, 2009 at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia.
His passing was not in vain.
Rodriguez’s organs were donated to four people. Rodriguez’s story, which includes interviews with the four recipients of his organs, will be the subject of an E:60 story on ESPN on Tuesday, April 19 at 7 p.m.
ESPN’s Jeremy Schapp did a fine job illustrating the impact Rodriguez’s organs have had on the lives of its recipients. Viewers should prepare themselves, because it is a program that will stoke a lot of emotions.
Interviews with Rodriguez’s wife Sonia, his brothers Tito and Alex and his parents Evaristo and Maria are especially emotional. His corner man on the night of his last fight, George Hernandez, discussed Rodriguez's final moments in the ring.
The first recipient was 22-year-old Ashley Owens, who needed a double lung transplant. Alexis Sloan, who was born with a heart condition, received Rodriguez’s heart.
Meghan Kingsley received one of Rodriguez’s kidneys with only a few days to live. Vicky Davis, 57, received Rodriguez’s other kidney and his pancreas. She was on the transplant list for over three years.
“How can you thank someone for a gift like that,” Davis said. “You can’t…It’s hard to say thank you. You have to say more.”
Needless to say, when the four recipients met with Rodriguez’s family, it was emotional.
The Rodriguez story is a testament to an athlete committing himself to a selfless act. And ESPN does a brilliant job in displaying the act.
Here's a short clip of Tuesday's show: