A heartbroken mum has spoken about the moment she found her 10-year-old son dying in the street after being run over – and how his death has saved the lives of 10 people.
Jack Power died after being run down by a van while crossing the road on August 19, 2018 – just a month before his 11th birthday.
The bright, compassionate boy was crossing a set of lights on a suburban road in Melbourne with his six-year-old sister and 12-year-old friend when disaster struck.
The two girls were left unscathed but Jack wasn’t as lucky and suffered severe head injuries.
None of the children had a mobile phone with them, so the eldest girl ran to a nearby house to call her mum who was with Bonnie at the time.
‘We were only a two-minute drive around the corner and I didn’t think the situation was serious. I just thought Jack might’ve fallen over and hurt himself,’ Jack’s brave mum Bonnie Power said.
When Bonnie arrived at the scene, she saw a stranger giving CPR to a young boy from a distance but was in denial that it was her son because a camouflage jacket was placed on the victim.
‘I initially thought they’ve mistaken this boy for Jack because he doesn’t wear camouflage clothing, so because of that I thought ‘thank god’ until I walked a bit closer and realised it was him,’ she said.
Jack was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne soon after.
‘He was in the hospital for 24 hours and had surgery on his skull to try remove the blood and reduce the inflammation,’ Bonnie said.
‘But during that time the surgeons kept coming out and saying he’s not doing very well, but I just looked at them and said “well it’s not over yet, you need to go back and do more”.’
After a few hours Jack remained on life support and the nurses asked Bonnie if she wanted to call any family members to come visit Jack.
‘I was definitely in denial and didn’t realise the nurse was trying to subtly say this was going to be the end,’ she said.
While at the hospital Bonnie kept saying to Jack ‘you need to fight this’ and ‘don’t give up’, but the nurses said if he were to survive, he wouldn’t be the same because of the amount of blood on his brain.
‘That’s when I realised we needed to give him the opportunity to decide what he wants to do,’ Bonnie said.
‘I said to Jack, “if you want to go and if this is too much, then you have my blessing. I’ve heard you might see a light and the end of a tunnel, so if you see that and want to walk down that tunnel, you can”‘.
Within a few minutes, Bonnie said the numbers on Jack’s monitor ‘skyrocketed’ and his blood pressure began to increase further.
Sadly despite the efforts of doctors, Jack passed away shortly after as the family made the decision to turn off his life support.
Just before he died, a representative from Donate Life asked Bonnie if she had considered donating Jack’s organs.
She was surprised the woman asked ‘such a hard question’ at a difficult time, but she hadn’t considered it before.
‘When making the decision I asked myself “what would Jack want?” and I knew he would want to help people – so I said yes,’ Bonnie said.
Jack’s organs have gone on to assist ten strangers of varying ages to live better, healthier lives.
The organs used by the transplant team from Donate Life included Jack’s heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, pancreas, lungs, eyes and parts of the skin.
A young boy received Jack’s liver, intestines and pancreas, and is now enjoying eating more often which he was unable to do before.
In a letter from Donate Life, the recipients said they are ‘forever grateful’ to have received Jack’s organs, which Bonnie said has touched her heart and she knows she made the right choice.
‘When the accident happened, I feel like I took a deep breath and I have only just exhaled after realising how Jack has helped so many people,’ Bonnie said.
She said the response from the community and others on Facebook has been immense and she is eternally grateful for the support the family has received.
‘Our little boy who didn’t get a chance to live a full life is now helping total strangers live theirs,’ she said.
‘He has helped so many families have that extra time with their loved ones and that is just so special.’
Bonnie encourages other families to have a conversation about organ donation with their loved ones.
Those who wish to become an organ donor can register their details at Donate Life.
Since the incident, the family have been urging motorists to be more aware when driving and to avoid distractions