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Family meets their son’s kidney recipient five years after organ donation

In the face of tragedy, one Peoria mom decided to give others the gift of life when her son lost his. Five years later, that mom got to meet the man who received her late son’s kidney.

May 5th 2014, started like any other for Tracey Corey, but while driving to work she got the phone call no parent wants to answer. Her son, 11-year-old Trever Chick, had been hit by a truck  and was fighting for his life. In the midst of her grief, she made a decision that changed many other lives forever.

Trever was pronounced brain dead the same day he was hit while walking to school. His mother Tracey Corey, described the moment she let him go.

“I held his hand really tight and I said you can go home and right then I felt him going like a relief like that you mom.” said Corey as a tear fell down her cheek

But in her moment of ultimate grief, she made the decision to have his loss give new life for those in need.

“I donated his organs because I knew he was a helpful little boy, he was like my little shadow, that’s why I called him my shadow and when I donated his five organs, that’s what I did, I knew he would want that so I did that.” said Corey

Meanwhile, Dan Schmidgall had battled lupus since 1996, which led to kidney disease. He was on the transplant list for a number of years, two weeks before he would be put on dialysis, he got the call.

“It’s kind of a paradox because you know that somebody has to die before you can do that so that’s hard to know but on the other hand you’re very grateful.” said Dan Schmidgall

Dan and his wife Pat, said they are blessed to have another chance at life.

“We have eight grandchildren and we’re very busy with them. They have ballgames and activities and there’s vacations together and all sorts of fun things.” said Pat Schmidgall

Both families knowing they have an angel watching over them.

“I will always be grateful for what you did for me and I appreciate your mom that she was willing to do this in the face of an unbelievable tragedy.” said Dan Schmidgall

200 people die in Illinois each year waiting for an organ transplant. If you would like to learn how to register as an organ donor, check out Gift of Hope: Organ and Tissue Donor Network.

Kaitlin Pearson

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