(CBS) – Last month, just days after his 23 birthday, the man once known as “Baby Quinn” was killed in a tragic car accident.
Now, his father, Dwain Kyles, is taking the lead, encouraging people to donate their organs.READ MORE: 1 Killed, 8 Wounded In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.
In a very real sense, Quinn was really the community’s baby, Dwain Kyles says.
We met Baby Quinn just days after he was born clinging to life at Children’s Memorial Hospital. His parents were dealing with the news their baby boy had a defective heart.
The options to save his life were limited. That’s when the Gift of Hope contacted the couple.
Gift of Hope suggested the infant was the perfect candidate for a heart transplant. But at the time insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of the $300,000 operation. Fundraising drives included a concert by family friend Stevie Wonder.READ MORE: Bo, The Obama Family Dog And 'Best Friend', Dies After Battle With Cancer
They not only raised the money, but the campaign for a heart for Baby Quinn gained national attention. He was just three weeks old when he had a successful transplant.
“People came out of the woodwork to really help us do what we had to do,” Dwain Kyles says.
Quinn died in a car accident last month.
Wonder was among those attending Quinn’s memorial. Like any parent, Dwain Kyles would have loved more time with his son. But he’s grateful for the 23 years and credits Gift of Hope for making it possible.
He’s now taking a public lead encouraging everyone to donate their organs.
“He had a good run. I’ll take 23 years over burying an infant, any day,” Kyles says.MORE NEWS: Leroy Long Charged With Shooting On Dan Ryan Expressway Near 87th Street
Unfortunately, Quinn was not able to donate his organs because of the years of medicine he was required to take as a transplant patient.