Teen who died in Metairie wanted to help others for his last wish

A 14-year-old killed after being struck by a car while skateboarding will save other children's lives by donating his organs.

METAIRIE, La. - Tears streamed down the faces of Ryan Marchand's family as they watched the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency Flag raised in his honor.

"He'll live on, but he's just not going to live on through his body anymore, he'll live on through other people he's going to help," said Leslie Migliore-Marchand, Ryan's mom.

The flag is a small sign of comfort for the family who has been through so much within the last 48 hours.

"I thought we had a chance when he didn't code through the night," Ryan's mom said.

The Migliores and Marchands along with the community had been praying for a miracle, for Ryan to recover after being hit by a car on West Metairie near Starrett.

"And all the prayers from the community and the churches that contacted us, I love you all. Thank you very much," said Johnny Migliore, Ryan's grandfather.

Ryan Marchand took his last breath on April 4 at 8:53 PM.

"He was always a brave boy, and this was the bravest decision he made one night a the kitchen table," said his mom.

Marchand's mom says he was motivated by a news story; she never thought she'd see the day the donation would actually happen. But his donation could not be more needed, Kirsten Heintz says thousands are waiting for an organ.

"One person can potentially save up to nine lives, but I would say, the average is 4 to 5," Heintz said.

And it's still unclear to the family what caused the accident.  They believe more than likely he was waiting to cross the street rather than being struck while skateboarding. 

Near the scene of the accident this Wednesday, a sign had been put up in Ryan's memory, it says "God has you in his arms, and we have you in our hearts."

The family hopes to put up a permanent memorial, possibly even a white skateboard.  For now, they hope everyone will watch out for the crossing. 

"And he'll be his brother's hero, and be my hero and my entire family's hero," added his mom.

Ryan Marchand only got to spend 14 years on earth, but in death, his family says he'll help people for generations.

His family has set an account with the LA Central Credit Union for help with this hardship.  They're asking that you either call or mail donations to the bank at 824 Elmwood Park Blvd suite 100, Harahan, La. 70123. 

The phone number is 504-733-0789 or 800-557-0056.  Please use reference number 70914-265075634.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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