Real Kidney Living

The Gift that Keeps on Giving w/ Mr. Dexter Criss

October 07, 2020 Northeast Kidney Foundation Season 1 Episode 7
Real Kidney Living
The Gift that Keeps on Giving w/ Mr. Dexter Criss
Chapters
Real Kidney Living
The Gift that Keeps on Giving w/ Mr. Dexter Criss
Oct 07, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Northeast Kidney Foundation

Welcome back, everyone! Today, I wanted to discuss one of our most important topics to be discussed as a community; organ donation. First-hand perspectives take on powerful roles and I wanted to enlighten our listens to one life – the life of Dalton Criss, who saved many on his journey and now, in our memories. Today, I am honored to be joined by Dalton’s father, Dexter who chronicles their story in the most vivid fashion. I ask you to listen closely as we dive into the organizations, individuals and our own motivations for giving the gift of life.  

Dexter’s Questions – 

1.) Tell us a little about yourself!

I am professor of chemistry at SUNY Plattsburgh and my family and I moved here in 1999. We have been the mainstay for Gospel choir here at the college. Of course, the main reason for this is being Dalton’s father. His life is the life that keeps on giving.  

2.) What was it that inspired your decision to help donate your loved one’s organs?

It actually started a few years before the accident. Dalton had just turned 18 and there was a box that asked him about organ donation. He was always like that, asking questions and I said “Absolutely, you will never have to worry about that.”  In retrospect, it was the first time I smiled after the accident - it was when I was told that my son was an organ donor.

 3.) Can you explain the steps involved in this process of deciding to be an organ donor and the moments involved with the process coming to fruition? 

Both Dalton and my wife were in the accident and in a coma. The doctors thought that Dalton would make it. However, his condition worsened and it was not the case. If he had survived, he would have lived a very uncomfortable life. We made a decision, my daughter and I to let God take Dalton home. The steps were taken and an honor walk was performed. There was a large gathering, including complete strangers and it gives you so much pride to know that your son, even in his death – he found a way to help at least 50 lives.

4.) How has this process helped you to heal and process the loss of Dalton?

It gave us an opportunity to bring anyone together. It allowed us to grieve with others – watching other people grieve the loss of my little boy allowed for a beautiful moment. These individuals realized that Dalton was their brother. Everyday, I think about those recipients who were benefitting from a very healthy young man.

5.) Who was a part of your support system?

When I got that call, I called one woman who is a sister to me and she drove. She drove to the ferry and all the way after the airlift to Vermont for Dalton. I have a very close male friend who I have to mention and he took care of things by phone, people were showing up to cut our grass and burn wood. He has just really integrated into our family.

6.) What would you say to someone who is faced with this decision to donate their organs?

It is an honorable but by no means an easy decision. You realize that within the next 24 hours someone’s life will be changed for another lifetime. I can wake up knowing every day that this an incredible decision. I would advise everyone to think closely about it.

7.) If you could pick, what has been the single most important thing that you’ve learned. 

It is just how close we all are. I knew God blessed me and that Dalton had something special to do in life and I guess this was it. I saw that love in him and it opened my eyes to how great a person he was.


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Show Notes

Welcome back, everyone! Today, I wanted to discuss one of our most important topics to be discussed as a community; organ donation. First-hand perspectives take on powerful roles and I wanted to enlighten our listens to one life – the life of Dalton Criss, who saved many on his journey and now, in our memories. Today, I am honored to be joined by Dalton’s father, Dexter who chronicles their story in the most vivid fashion. I ask you to listen closely as we dive into the organizations, individuals and our own motivations for giving the gift of life.  

Dexter’s Questions – 

1.) Tell us a little about yourself!

I am professor of chemistry at SUNY Plattsburgh and my family and I moved here in 1999. We have been the mainstay for Gospel choir here at the college. Of course, the main reason for this is being Dalton’s father. His life is the life that keeps on giving.  

2.) What was it that inspired your decision to help donate your loved one’s organs?

It actually started a few years before the accident. Dalton had just turned 18 and there was a box that asked him about organ donation. He was always like that, asking questions and I said “Absolutely, you will never have to worry about that.”  In retrospect, it was the first time I smiled after the accident - it was when I was told that my son was an organ donor.

 3.) Can you explain the steps involved in this process of deciding to be an organ donor and the moments involved with the process coming to fruition? 

Both Dalton and my wife were in the accident and in a coma. The doctors thought that Dalton would make it. However, his condition worsened and it was not the case. If he had survived, he would have lived a very uncomfortable life. We made a decision, my daughter and I to let God take Dalton home. The steps were taken and an honor walk was performed. There was a large gathering, including complete strangers and it gives you so much pride to know that your son, even in his death – he found a way to help at least 50 lives.

4.) How has this process helped you to heal and process the loss of Dalton?

It gave us an opportunity to bring anyone together. It allowed us to grieve with others – watching other people grieve the loss of my little boy allowed for a beautiful moment. These individuals realized that Dalton was their brother. Everyday, I think about those recipients who were benefitting from a very healthy young man.

5.) Who was a part of your support system?

When I got that call, I called one woman who is a sister to me and she drove. She drove to the ferry and all the way after the airlift to Vermont for Dalton. I have a very close male friend who I have to mention and he took care of things by phone, people were showing up to cut our grass and burn wood. He has just really integrated into our family.

6.) What would you say to someone who is faced with this decision to donate their organs?

It is an honorable but by no means an easy decision. You realize that within the next 24 hours someone’s life will be changed for another lifetime. I can wake up knowing every day that this an incredible decision. I would advise everyone to think closely about it.

7.) If you could pick, what has been the single most important thing that you’ve learned. 

It is just how close we all are. I knew God blessed me and that Dalton had something special to do in life and I guess this was it. I saw that love in him and it opened my eyes to how great a person he was.


Instacart - Groceries delivered in as little as 1 hour.
Free delivery on your first order over $35.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.