‘He is a hero’: SC teen who died after gun accident donates organs, saves lives

Around the South

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — An 18-year-old from North Myrtle Beach gave life to others because of a decision he made shortly before his death.

North Myrtle Beach Police say Hayden Ramsey died last Saturday after a gun accident two days earlier.

A donor flag waved at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center days ago, until five of Ramsey’s organs were given to people in need.

“He is a soldier,” said his mother, Susan Melton Dryman. “He is a hero.”

Hayden Ramsey’s mother looks through scattered photos as a reminder of how extremely intelligent she says her son was.

According to North Myrtle Beach Police, he died Saturday at the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center after an accidental shooting.

“I had just gotten married April 6th and we had our last dance and that’s what I see,” said Dryman. “I see me dancing with him.”

Ramsey happened to take his beginner’s permit test one month before he died, and the organ donor question came up.

“When he got to that one question, he’s like well, what do I do? And, I’m like well, Hayden, what do you want to do? Either you can give your organs, or you don’t,” said Dryman.

And, he did. He checked the box to become an organ donor that day.

“He was able to save 8 people,” said Dryman.

Two 13-year-olds have his heart and lungs. His liver went to someone in Tennessee, and his kidneys and pancreas were donated to the Medical University of South Carolina.

“One day, I hope to meet the recipient that got his big, huge heart, because he loved everybody,” said Dryman. “He didn’t see color, he just loved everybody.”

The family will receive friends from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Lee Funeral Home Chapel.

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