Anthony L. (DOD: 7/30/2017)
Anthony L. was bright. He planned to study aeronautics in college. He was ready for life and was determined to make a difference. Everything was falling into place. At the time of his death, he was just about to start his senior year of high school. He was in the ROTC and had a girlfriend. On June 19th, 2017, he was officially adopted by his grandparents. His grandpa, David, recalls his beaming smile that day. The deep desire to be wanted and needed was fully satisfied.
A number of things happened to him early in life but he was not going to let those things hold him back. Anthony and his little sister moved in with their grandparents at ages 8 and 3 respectively. Their prior family life was shadowed by a difficult family situation when his grandparents stepped in. Due to this, Anthony was very mature early on. He was very protective of his sister and this stance lasted for about 5 years before he was able to just be a kid, eventually, even fighting with his sister!
He was highly aware of things, not above challenging ideas and loved to talk. At 16, at the DMV, when faced with the question of organ donation, he was an emphatic yes. When the license arrived in the mail, he said 'Papa, I got my red heart!'. On his 18th birthday, he announced that he could genuinely feel the difference. He was an adult now.
He had seen an allergist before and had a known food allergy to tree nuts. He could consume peanuts with tolerance. He also hadeczema and asthma, which lead to 2 emergency room visits that were severe in nature. He saw a counselor weekly where he learned techniques to quiet his breathing. He was described as being 'on top of it' and an avid label reader.
Anthony L., at age 18, passed away from a tree nut allergy July 20, 2017. He was hanging out with friends when his hunger lead him to eat a power bar that 'looked good' to him. About 3/4 of the way through, his friend said, 'you know that has nuts in it'. He immediately got up, spit it out, tried to vomit. His friends got him in the car, attempting to get to the hospital but he died on the way. He did not have his epinephrine auto-injector nor his albuterol inhaler with him.
As of July 28, 2017, his organs have helped save 7 people. One was a child who was within hours of death per Anthony's grandfather.
Anthony's last name was held per his family's request