Granger Smith's wife Amber opened up about their son River's legacy. Amber Smith revealed on Instagram Saturday the family's decision to donate their child's organs after his tragic passing, adding that the donation saved the lives of two people.
River died tragically at the age of 3 last month in a drowning accident at home. The same day, Granger revealed the news on Twitter and Instagram, saying that "despite doctor's best efforts, he was unable to be revived." PEOPLE writes River was laid to rest on June 11.
Amber shared a lengthy new tribute for her son Saturday, writing about the decision to donate her son's organs.
"I've always known I wanted to be a donor if anything were to ever happen to me," Amber began in the caption of the Instagram post. "I just felt that if I had viable organs, why would I go into the ground with them? My spirit would be in Heaven, so why not save a life if I could? Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby.
"When 3 different neuro specialists told us that River had 0% chance of brain recovery (yes 0, not 10 or 1%, 0) after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others? His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something," she continued. "There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives. The doctors said donation was quite a process. We would have to search for viable recipients and it could take days."
Amber went into detail about the days after her son's death, and the process to getting his organs donated and the difficult days waiting for them to find the people he would be helping.
"We knew River's spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn't bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for 3 or more more days while they searched," she wrote. "They tried to expedite the process so our family could be in peace, told us they would take him back to operate the next morning, but we wouldn't know what organs could be used until after. With such a small body, organs had to be measured physically, not just by X-ray."
"I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood," she added. "The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the 'walk of honor'. We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone. Granger and I held each other and cried."
After the donation, "We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults."
"A 49 year old woman and a 53 year old man," she revealed. "I cried when we opened it. Cried out of sadness & cried out of love. I'm so proud to be River's mama and I'm so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible 3 years."0comments
"I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv," she concluded her post. "It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made. There are over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting. Go to OrganDonor.gov to see how you can help give life as well."
Since River's death, Granger Smith returned to touring while his family stays home. He revealed when he announced he would be returning to the stage that he found going back to music the best way to cope with the massive loss.