The untimely passing of Christian writer Shannon Dingle’s husband has saved the lives of four people, including a mother of five kids.
Lee Dingle died suddenly last month while he and his family were on a vacation to Oak Island in North Carolina. An unexpected wave crashed into his chest, knocking him to the ground and breaking his neck.
Now, his organs are expected to go to a stunning 55 people. To date, four have received life-saving donations from Lee.
“I am grateful beyond comprehension for the gift of life you provided,” the recipient of Lee’s liver told the Dingle family. “God bless you.”
The Raleigh native’s right kidney went to a mother raising five children.
“As a 37-year-old mother of six, I do like knowing that one of his kidneys gave life to a 40-something mom of five,” Shannon said. “I hate that my kids have to grieve Lee’s death, but I’m glad her kids aren’t having to grieve like that.”
Shannon has been very transparent on social media about her grieving process, even admitting that the donation of her late husband’s organs “stings with unfairness to know that every person whose life his organs saved was older than him, sometimes decades older.”
In addition to the organs Lee donated, his pancreas and lungs were also recovered to be used for medical research. And his bone and skin grafts will be used for reconstructive surgeries for cancer patients and trauma survivors.
Recalling his horrific death on the beach, Shannon told WTVD-TV that the “one sweet reality” is, because of the work of Good Samaritans along the water, many of Lee’s organs were recoverable.
“The one sweet reality in folks being able to pull him out and work on him as long as they did is that his organs were viable,” she said. “He was never deprived of oxygen long enough for there to be any issues with vital organs or tissues to benefit others.”
As she struggles to figure out life without Lee, Shannon said she is doing her best to preserve his legacy for their six children.
“This is the only way I can show up for him,” she explained. “By making sure that his life lives on in the stories and in the inspirations of the sort of man he was.”