More Texans sign up as organ donors, mom shares story

Melisa Cummings holds a picture of her son Carson, who was an organ donor. (Kevin Schwaller)
Melisa Cummings holds a picture of her son Carson, who was an organ donor. (Kevin Schwaller)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas is seeing a boom in the number of registered organ donors in recent years.

Recently, the family of South by Southwest Crash victim Sandy Le said Sandy was an organ donor and that all of her organs found matches.

The non-profit Donate Life estimated two percent of Texas adults were registered donors in 2009. That number is now up to about 25 percent, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Texas comes in below the national average, which Donate Life pegged at 45 percent in its 2013 report card.

Donate Life tried to register more donors in Austin Sunday, as part of Pat’s Promise.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports increased DPS training is helping boost participation and that the legislature has helped streamline registration.

“Here you’re in this deep despair and shock, but when we found out… I believe it was the next day, that [my son’s] liver was a match for the little girl in Dallas, unexpectedly, I just felt a sense of joy,” said Melisa Cummings, whose son Carson died at 24 years old and was an organ donor.

Melisa says her son was like a character out of a book.

“He got away with a lot with those blue eyes,” Cummings said.

Melisa says Carson moved from Austin out West. A car hit him while he was crossing a street. He went into a coma. When Carson died, the son who was full of life helped others live.

“[My liver donor’s] name is Carson,” said Adele Brown. “And I have three brothers and I heard [about Carson’s death and that] it was a boy and he had a sister, that hurt my heart.”

Adele Brown was one of those waiting for a transplant. DPS reports there are more than 11,000 on the Texans on that list now.

Now, Adele and Melisa are asking for more Texans to become donors.

According to numbers from Donate Life Texas, a higher proportion of central Texans register as donors than the state as a whole.

Click here if you would like to register as an organ donor. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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