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Emily GirschOct 15, 2017, 6:12 pm

Wall family turns tragedy into gift of life through son’s organ donation

Recipients meet the parents that changed their lives for the better through the Sharing Network

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NEW PROVIDENCE — A Wall family met the recipients of their 15-year-old’s organs, learning how their son’s donation saved the lives of others.

When Luke Battista passed away in 2015, his family knew he would want to help others and since his death, Luke has donated five of his organs to others.

"Knowing that a piece of my son is inside of that person and keeping him alive and creating new life, I can't put into words," Luke’s father Chris Battista said.

His family got to meet the recipient of his pancreas in March and on Sunday they got to meet the recipient of one of his kidneys at the Sharing Network in New Providence.

"Luke gave me a second chance at life and I just wanted to show my gratitude to the family and to Luke," organ recipient Andre Thomas said.

Thomas waited for a kidney for six years after his kidney failed, forcing him to be on dialysis daily until he could receive a new one. He calls Luke his "light at the end of the tunnel."

"When I got that phone call that I got a new kidney, I cried and I just thank God for that opportunity and Luke even though he's not here, he's living with me every day, every walk that I walk," Thomas said.

In 2016, over 600 organs were donated through the Sharing Network.

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