You could always find Bronson Parsons enjoying life to the fullest in the great outdoors. Born and raised in Montana, Bronson was an avid outdoorsman and adventurer. He loved hunting, fishing, hiking, cliff diving, bungee jumping, skydiving, and especially snowboarding. Some of his final days were spent happily carving through fluffy powder on the slopes. Bronson also spent several years in Portland, Oregon, learning building trade and had nearly completed his pilot’s license, hoping to someday have the opportunity to fly helicopters. He truly lived life to the fullest, and his energy and enthusiasm were contagious—especially when it came to Montana Grizzly football.
On January 1, 2008, Bronson was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking with a friend along the shoulder of a highway in East Missoula. Bronson suffered massive head injuries. By the time his family reached the hospital, he was on ventilated support and had been pronounced brain dead. He was 25 years old.
Four months prior to the accident, Bronson had renewed his driver’s license and said yes to being an organ, eye, and tissue donor. He had been profoundly inspired to be a donor after a family friend donated a kidney to her 17-year-old daughter. Bronson told his parents that he would like the opportunity to help others through donation if anything were to happen to him. His wishes were carried out without hesitation.
Bronson donated his lungs, heart, both kidneys, and liver to save the lives of four people, and he enhanced the lives of many more through his cornea, bone, and tissue donations.
The family has been in contact with two of Bronson’s organ recipients.
“We were all very touched that they were able to put their thoughts into words and write to us. We have read their letters over and over and treasured their phone conversations. This tangible reminder of their struggle and their renewed lives are a testament to our son’s gift. As a family we grasp at any validation that this tragedy will not be in vain. The number of people in the recipients’ lives that have been affected by their years of struggle and now renewed hope overwhelms us. It is our wish that this second chance at life will give them and their love ones the opportunity to enjoy every day to the fullest and an opportunity to make many more happy memories together in the years to come.”