What happened ten years ago Monday marks one of the most violent chapters in Seattle history - and the saddest for Kim Kime Parks.
“The last thing I said to him is how proud I am of him, and what an honor it was for me to be his mom,” she said.
The Mardi Gras riots of February 28, 2001, claimed the life of a Good Samaritan, Kris Kime, 20. Kris Kime was killed as he was trying to save a woman’s life from the angry mob. He was trying to help a stranger.
“He’s a hero in my book,” said Larry Levinson.
A hero for what he did that night, and for what Kris continues to do even ten years later. Larry Levinson, from Port Orchard, has Kris’ heart.
“It keeps me alive,” said Levinson.
Ray Page from Wenatchee has Kris’ right kidney.
“Works perfect,” said Page.
Rick Allison still breathes Kris’ lungs, even ten years later.
“The doctor that performed the transplant said he had never seen a healthier set of lungs,” said Kim Kime Parks.
Martha French, who received Kris’ pancreas, and Jessie Bettes, who received Kris’ left kidney, died a few years ago.
“I think of how he didn’t help that one lady being assaulted that night,” said Marcie Becher, Jessie Bettes’ daughter. “My mom was able to touch my life, the rest of my family’s life, her friends, her co-workers. She was able to do that because of Kris. I think his story hasn’t ended because we’re all inspired and touched by the whole story.”
Just months before his death, Kris Kime signed up to be a donor when he got his driver’s license. He proudly told his mother about it. And now, Kris' mother and brother, Cameron, talk to high school students about important it is to donate your organs when the time comes.
“We lost one person,” said Cameron, who was nine at the time of his brother’s death. “But with us losing one person, it allowed a whole bunch of people to live longer.”
They are Kris Kime’s gifts of life - and love.
“How amazing is that?” Kris’ mom asked. “I never really completely said goodbye to my son, and knowing that my son is continually giving and gives and gives and gives. I don’t think a mother could ask for any more than that.”
Find out more about organ donations and what you can do by going to the Life Center Northwest website at www.donatelifetoday.com.