It’s been just over a year since Ty Osman II’s death, but as a organ donor he has given new life to others. His family also maintains his memory by continually working in the community.
It’s been just over a year since Ty Osman II died. He was on a roadtrip for spring break and was struck by another vehicle along Interstate 30 northeast of Dallas after stopping to help others.
Last week on the anniversary of his death, Ty’s family met organ recipients and their families from around the country who are alive today because of the young Brentwood man. That special gathering took place at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
“As my husband said, it is a dichotomy of emotions,” Ty’s mom Nancy Osman said. “You never think you can feel happy and sorrow at the same time, but we are happy they have another chance at life.”
Ty, a Brentwood High grad and Harding University freshman, was an organ donor on his own accord. His family says they only honored the 18-year-old’s decision.
Five of Ty’s organs gave new life to others immediately following his death last March. Texas resident Kelly Barns, 37, received a kidney and pancreas. She is one of four organ recipients Ty helped save.
“It was a special feeling to see where Ty had come from,” said Barns, whose organs failed about two years ago because of diabetes. “I really don’t know how to say it; I think they are amazing people and to know what Ty has done and what they’ve done makes it even more special.”
Ty was a big basketball player and fan. He was an even bigger North Carolina supporter and no doubt would be preparing for the fast-approaching March Madness of college basketball to cheer on the Tar Heels.
This weekend, some 50 teams will play basketball in his memory in the first Ty Osman 3-on-3 tournament at Lipscomb University. Some 50 teams have signed up, including one with Ty’s sister.The games begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the university’s Allen Arena.
“It’s going to be a fun day,” said Nancy Osman, who will be in attendance. “We knew we could do something fun even if we are sad and we had to show these kids they could, too.”
Off the court, Ty’s kindness touched everyone he met. His mom said he did the “little things” that made others smile.
Last fall, the Osmans and about 400 volunteers teamed up to transform and complete the Hard Bargain Association community center located at 608 Mt. Hope St. in Franklin. The project was undertaken by the Ty2 Foundation, which was founded by the Osmans in Ty’s memory, and by Solomon Builders, Ty Sr.’s company.
The community center was once the Mt. Hope Cemetery caretaker’s house. The outpouring of love was overwhelming for Brant Bousqet, who has been HBA’s executive director since 2007. He said more than $200,000 in donations from the Ty2 Foundation and Solomon Builders was given to upgrade the historic home, which is now the location for support groups, financial management classes and more for residents of the historic Hard Bargain neighborhood.
“We actually have office space now,” Bousqet said. The HBA held its annual celebration dinner last week in honor of the foundation and the work done to establish the community center. The structure is marked with a sign on the front lawn calling the center “Ty’s House.”
One organ donor can save up to eight lives, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other figures show that there are more than 117,000 people across the country waiting for organ donations.
In Tennessee, registered donors 18 and older simply check “Yes” when acquiring or renewing their driver’s license or ID to become donors like Ty.
Donate Life Tennessee, which will receive all of the proceeds from Ty’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament this weekend, is the state’s official non-profit organ and tissue donor registry. Its website says more than 2,400 people in the state are waiting for life-saving organ transplants and in 2011, 122 Tennessee residents died while waiting for transplants.
A new heart was Ty’s gift to 69-year-old Paul Mores, whom the family met last weekend in Texas.
Ty’s parents took turns using a stethoscope to listen to the thumping, healthy heart of their son which saved Mores’ life.
“It was unreal,” Nancy Osman said.
To learn more about Ty’s story go to the the Ty2 Foundation website at ty2foundation.org.
Related story: OBITUARY: Ty Osman, a young man of character