Employees at a Nevada hospital lined the halls to say their final goodbyes to a teen, who had been declared brain dead after a motorcycle accident, as he was wheeled into organ donation surgery — a decision he made just weeks earlier.
A few months before Michael Sigler was involved in the crash that left him on life support, the 18-year-old made a trip to the Las Vegas DMV with his mom Courtney Kaplan to get his motorcycle driving license.
The motorcycle was something that Michael had wanted for years after observing his father ride around on one. When he finally turned 18, the teen used his own money to purchase the two-wheeler but needed the proper documentation to drive it.
As he was filling out paperwork at the DMV, Kaplan tells PEOPLE that her son did not hesitate when it came to the organ donor section — a moment that was particularly remarkable in her mind.
“Once I explained to him what the benefits are, he grabbed the application from me and check-marked all of the possible options that you can do,” Kaplan explains. “I would not have expected that reaction.”
“As kind and as generous as he was, that, to me, was a whole other level of being selfless, of generosity and being giving,” she adds. “After that day, he was very engaged in the conversation.”
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Months later on May 17, Michael was driving his motorcycle through their Las Vegas community when he tragically collided with a car, driven by another one of his senior classmates.
Sadly, the incident also happened just one week short of both students’ high school graduation.
Though Michael surprisingly did not suffer any internal organ damage or external cuts from the crash, Kaplan says his head took most of the impact and led him to become brain dead.
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“I’m being told the initial impact was so hard, that he was knocked unconscious,” Kaplan shares. “He didn’t suffer, not for a second, which brings a lot of peace.”
Knowing that their son may never wake up again, Kaplan and Michael’s father Charles Sigler made the difficult decision to remove him from life support — and because he had opted to just months earlier, donate his organs to people in need.
As the teen was being wheeled into surgery alongside his family members at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the hospital staff recorded the incredibly emotional moment that shows the nurses, doctors, and employees all lined down the halls to say farewell to Michael.
That footage was shared on the hospital’s Facebook page on May 23, where they revealed that the powerful tribute was also their first-ever Honor Walk.
“It was Michael’s wish to be an organ donor,” the video reads. “He had made that clear to his parents the day he bought his motorcycle, the same motorcycle he was riding …read more