One local family’s Christmas tragedy is a miracle for five others

Baby Rex. Contributed photo

When Baby Rex was born in October 2018, he faced some serious health issues. Born with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid on the brain, he spent the first three weeks of his life in the NICU. But then things improved dramatically, according to his aunt, Jessica Castresana. He lived most of the remainder of his 14-month life without any symptoms. That was until Dec. 28, 2019, when he suddenly passed away. The family was devastated, but are taking solace in the fact that their loss was able to provide a miracle to five other families.

“He became a hero by donating his four heart valves(three in Georgia and one in Florida) and kidneys, also in Georgia,” Castresana said. “We want him recognized as a hero in hopes that one day his organ recipients will find us and maybe we can meet the people he saved.”
Castresana said that her nephew had his Hero Walk through the PICU halls at Egleston in Atlanta on Dec. 30 and, although was a heartbreaking event to go through, they were able to take solace in the fact that he was able to be a hero to others.
The Hero Walk is a ritual hospitals across the United States hold to show respect to patients at the end of life who are donating organs to others. Staff line the halls as the donor patient is wheeled from the room where they had spent their last hours, usually accompanied by their loved ones, to the operating room where the organs they are donating are harvested for transplant.
“It brought us so much comfort knowing that he lives on through five people now. His light is still shining even though we can’t see it. We know he’s still out there,” Castresana said.
Baby Rex lived most of his short life with his grandparents in Snellville or with his aunt in Monroe, who has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with final expenses. If you want to help, you can donate through their GoFundMe.

Baby Rex and his family’s sacrifice was featured on 11Alive on Dec. 30. You can click or tap on this link for the story.

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