Jeff was a loving husband and a very devoted father to David, Katie and Ryan. He had an incredibly strong faith in God and shared his faith with many different people. He enjoyed spending time with our family. Jeff had many passions including hunting and fishing, and he also loved music. He played the piano and trumpet for many different occasions and events. Jeff was a very giving person which is why he registered as an organ and tissue donor.
On January 21, 20005 we had no idea how our lives were about to change. Jeff was out with our four year-old son Ryan at Caesar’s Creek looking for a place to go hunting with his hunting buddies. Jeff was walking on what he thought was a frozen, flooded field covered with snow, but he was actually walking on ice when he fell through and was not able to get out. Ryan tried to help, but fortunately Jeff was able to push him to safety. He saved our son’s life that day. Jeff suffered hypothermia and drowned. It was the worst day of our lives, and yet we had the miracle of Ryan’s life being saved by his father and protected by our Heavenly Father. What a gift. I knew Jeff had a gift to give to others, even through his death. He was able to donate tissue, bone, tendons, corneas and skin to help others live better lives and maybe even restore someone’s sight. What a blessing to be a part of this miracle. I know of at least 35 people who have received the gift of donation from him. It is such a comfort to know even after he is gone, he is still helping people here on earth.
I would like to encourage anyone who reads this to consider tissue and organ donation for yourself or a family member. It is giving the gift of life, perhaps to a perfect stranger, but the blessing you will receive is huge! I am so thankful for all of the people Jeff has been able to help through donation.
– Ann Durham, wife of Jeff Durham, Tissue Donor