published Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Chattanooga area child's tragic death means life for others

The parents of a 4-year-old boy who died Saturday after a hiking accident on March 30 have donated their son's organs to help save the lives of other children.

Kacey Smith posted on Facebook Sunday that an 11-year-old will receive her son Will Smith's liver and that his other organs will go to children and help their families avoid the heartbreak the Smiths have experienced.

Will's accident involved water in the Pocket Wilderness area near Soddy-Daisy last Sunday.

Will underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene before being transported to Erlanger hospital.

Word of Will's condition spread around the area, country and even the world as well-wishers posted on social media offering prayers and support as he remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger.

He was a pre-K student and attended Hixson United Methodist Church. Melia Warren, the director of the church's children's ministry, remembered him as a true companion to his classmates.

"If a friend was having a bad day, he'd wrap his arms around him," Warren said. "If two friends were fighting over a toy, he was the peacemaker."

The church held a special service for Will during the children's worship time Sunday, listening to a recording of Will singing "Amazing Grace" and sharing memories of the boy.

"He knew God's amazing love for him and through that he was able to share God's amazing love with others," Warren said.

Funeral arrangements for Will are pending, but his compassionate spirit continues to bring life to others.

"Will is an organ donor," his father, Tony Smith, wrote in another Facebook post, "and [those] who know him, know that he was really good at sharing."

Contact staff writer David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731.

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