East Tennessee veteran becomes lifesaving donor

Local News

An Army National Guard sergeant proved one last time he’s a true hero. Matthan Fish has been on life support at UT Medical Center since a motorcycle accident five days ago, but even in his final moments, he is the one saving lives.

A first-ever flag ceremony was held at the hospital to honor Fish.

“He signed up for it. This is what he signed up for. He’s a real American hero,” said his father Robert Fish.

He says his son made a huge sacrifice even in the motorcycle crash itself.

“He had his friend on the back of the motorcycle. Now his friend, he took his helmet off, and he gave it to his friend to protect his friend’s life. That’s why he sustained such a heavy head injury,” he said.

Through organ donation, Matthan Fish could impact dozens of lives, many who are getting a phone call that they will be getting a life saving donation.

“We don’t know yet. Potentially eight lives saved and 50 lives enhanced by tissue donation. An incredible story, an incredible human being, an incredible soldier.,” said Billy Jarvis.

Jarvis is with Tennessee Donor Services. He says there are more than 115,000 people waiting for transplants and this soldier’s decision to be an organ donor will be one more way he will be forever remembered as a hero.

“You can’t take it with you. There’s so many people waiting for that second chance to live, live a happy healthy life. That’s one of the things we stress in our organ donor program here in Tennessee, give to others. Don’t put it in the ground. Save other people, said Jarvis.

Robert Fish says dozens of fellow soldier’s filed through his son’s hospital room Monday night sharing stories and saying their goodbyes.

“Soldier after soldier after soldier, lined up at that door and they didn’t quit coming. I was like I have got to go bed, but still more soldiers coming in.” said Robert Fish. 

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