In Alex Capperauld’s short life, he made an amazing impact on others. Alex loved just about everything— from school, to his dog Pete, to singing and dancing, to most especially bubbles. He brought joy to each day.

Alex was born on January 27, 1988 in Tacoma, Washington and upon birth diagnosed with a condition known as “hydrocephalus”—an excessive build-up of cerebral spinal fluid. Alex’s subsequent medical treatment yielded success in alleviating some of the condition, but Alex had about two-thirds the amount of normal brain tissue. Alex was surrounded with the love and care all through his life by his mother Vicki, father Andy, and stepmother Tami. Alex died from complications related to his condition on November 22, 2008, at the age of 20. He was able to donate the gift of life to five different recipients who received his heart, lungs, liver, and each of his kidneys.

In a letter to Alex’s recipients, his mom Vicki wrote “I can honestly say that through Alex’s innocence and his observations of others, he found a way to make us laugh at least once a day. I miss that, and his hugs, and his ‘I love you’s’—believe it or not, I just miss taking care of all his needs.”

In Yakima, Washington, Prisciliano Ponce is able to spend time with his wife, nine children, and 22 grandchildren because of Alex. In fall of 2008, when Prisciliano was 61 years old, he was put on the heart transplant waiting list and hospitalized at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

“My father is not a man of many words, but he is grateful to have a new heart. Really grateful,” said his daughter Martha.

Through the support of LifeCenter Northwest, Alex’s family met several of his recipients, including Prisciliano and 15 of his family members. The outpouring of affection touched the Capperaulds.

“The process of meeting Alex’s recipients was one that turned the pain switch off and the pride switch on,” said Alex’s dad, Andy. “I went from missing him terribly to missing him wonderfully.”

Vicki ended her original letter to the recipients by sharing, “You’ve got a loving ‘fighter’ in you, and I hope he is serving you well, and that you and your families take a lesson from Alex—it’s the small things in life, and the small progresses, and the love of those around you that really matter—not the rest of the stuff. Be joyous.”