Tennessee paramedic continued saving lives with organ donation

Local News

Nurses, doctors and medical personnel lined the hallways of Vanderbilt University Medical Center to honor the life of a paramedic as he was moved into the operating room where he would donate his organs.  

Kyle Fisher, 28, was a paramedic who helped people every day. His final act was the donation of his heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and tissue on Feb. 9, saving the lives of six people.  

Vanderbilt shared video of his honor walk, where medical personnel line up to pay respect in a silent memorial for those donating organs so that others may have a chance to live.  

Honor walks occur only with the permission of the patient’s family.

Fisher, who was suffering from severe gastrointestinal issues, went into cardiac arrest shortly after emergency personnel responded on Feb. 4 to his fianceé’s home in rural Clay County, according to Vanderbilt.

Fisher was given CPR for 28 minutes during his transport to Cumberland River Hospital in Celina, where he was stabilized. He then was transported to Vanderbilt.

Fisher, a paramedic at American Medical Response (AMR) in Nashville, decided to donate his organs four years earlier when his choice was first indicated on his driver’s license. 

“I could not make that decision,” said his mother Fredia Fisher. “So I got his wallet out of my purse and his driver’s license had this little heart” — the symbol indicating a registered organ and tissue donor.

“I know 1,000 percent I could not be handling this as well as I am right now if I didn’t know that he was going to save many, many lives by that decision that he’s made,” she said. “And I may not be able to have my baby with me, but a lot of other mamas will be able to keep their babies because of him. And that’s just him. So selfless. So caring. So tenderhearted.”

More than 113,000 people nationwide are waiting for a life-saving transplant, with more than 3,000 of those in Tennessee, said Sharon Pakis, manager of public education and public relations with Tennessee Donor Services.

“One organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can impact 50 or more lives,” Pakis said.

Vanderbilt child life specialists made keepsakes for Fisher’s children, Kasen, 7; Khloe, 3; and Bryar Kyle, with whom his fiancee Kaylin Oldham is five months pregnant. They captured Fisher’s handprint and made clay molds of his thumbs. 

To learn more about becoming an organ and tissue donor, visit donatelifetn.org.

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