As the family of 15-year-old Brian Motelet gathered in his hospital room in August to say their final goodbye, his parents, Bret and Eula Motelet wanted their son to help others and made the decision to donate his organs.
Brian suffered from a condition called Encephalitis. His mother, Eula, said that the decision to donate his organs was theirs as they were both organ donors themselves.
“Brian had special needs and is nonverbal so it wasn’t something we could discuss with him,” she said. “Nobody expects to bury their kid. My neighbor brought it my attention and asked if we had ever thought about donating his organs. At that moment I thought about it and really felt it was something we should do. I talked it over with my husband and then we approached the doctors at the hospital. It was kind of shocking to them that we approached them.” The family lives in Kansas City, Missouri, but Bret grew up in Ottawa and Pomona, graduated from Pomona High School and his parents still live in Ottawa. Eula said in the days after Brian passed away, she wanted to find something positive to focus on. She started a GoFundMe page to help with the expenses. That’s when Bret started trying to find information about who got Brian’s heart.
What they discovered was that his heart had gone to save the life of a 9-year-old girl in Texas named Bella. They found her mom, Kaycee, on Facebook and reached out to the family.
“We’ve talked on the phone and have been keeping in touch through email,” she said. “It’s shocking but if anything can come out of this,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who don’t get information on organ donation. I would have never thought how much it would mean to us.”
Brian was named after Bret’s twin brother who was killed in a car accident in 1996. As an organ donor, Brian was able to help more than just one person. Five organs were donated including both of his kidneys, his pancreas, his liver and his heart.
A 26-year-old recipient of Brian’s kidney reached out to the Motelets through a text message.
“I know that there are no words that can truly express my feelings or gratefulness for your family and loved one,” it said. “It takes a special kind of person to make such a sacrifice in their time of grief and need.”
A GoFundMe page has been established to help pay for expenses like a headstone for Brian. Donations can be filed by searching Brian Motelet Memorial Fund on the gofundme.com