It’s a story that tugs at the heart and shows incredible human size: The boy of a German vacationing family was bitten by a hornet on Wednesday in a farm garden in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. The child suffered allergic shock and any help the boy got was too late. In all their desperation and grief, the parents made an immediate decision: if death had any meaning, it would be through donating their son’s organs to terminally ill patients.
And it happened: immediately after the official announcement of death, the organs were removed from the child in a hospital in Alessandria. A few hours later, he was transplanted in Italian clinics. The baby’s kidney was given to a woman and a man in Turin, and the liver was transplanted to an adult man in Piedmont in a 12-hour operation. Both lungs were donated to a child in a hospital in Padua.
The boy’s heart was also removed and transplanted into a seriously ill child at a clinic in Bologna. Italian media across the country picked up the story of the little tourist’s child and bowed to the boy on behalf of his compatriots. He paid tribute to the parents for this almost supernatural decision.