Mom of Bledsoe Football Star: "He had a really big heart."
PIKEVILLE, BLEDSOE COUNTY (WRCB) -- Even in death, Kainen Boring, is impacting the world by giving life to complete strangers.
"It's just really special knowing an 18-year-old girl got his heart," says Boring's mother.
The high school football star captured so many hearts in September, when he collapsed on the field and later died. Kainen's mother spoke to Channel 3 for the first time, Friday.
Paula Boring discussed the family's decision to donate her son's organs, and her desire to meet the five people who now have a second chance at life.
"I check the mailbox, waiting for a letter from them," the mother says. "Not that we want a thank you, we just want to see them doing well because of Kainen's organs."
Seven weeks ago, Paula Boring made the most difficult decision of her life, after her 17-year-old son, Kainen, collapsed during football practice at Bledsoe County High School.
For eight days the Pikeville community watched and prayed as Boring lay unresponsive at Erlanger.
That Friday, the school held a moment of silence before the football game. Kainen's teammates proudly wore his number, seven, on their jerseys and wrist bands. But, no one prayed harder than his mother.
"The doctors came in and told us there was no more blood flow to his brain," she says. "There was nothing left, and they declared him clinically brain dead."
Kainen's family learned a condition called Arteriovenous Malformation, or AVM, caused a cluster of blood vessels to erupt when he took a routine hit during practice. The family began thinking about organ donation.
Paula Boring says a story Kainen's classmate told her at the hospital confirmed their decision.
"My other son's girlfriend was in several classes with Kainen," says Paula Boring. "She told us that just a few days before this happened they were discussing organ donation in class."
Paula Boring says the hardest part is the 'goodbye' she didn't get.
"When you donate organs, you don't get to be with your loved as their heart beat stops," she says.
Instead the family watched as doctors wheeled Kainen's body into organ harvest surgery.
"They had to keep his medicine going as we walked down the hall with him, and put him on the elevator to go to surgery," Paula says.
Today, Boring and her family are healing. She says her hope lies in her faith, and the chance to one day meet the five people who received Kainen's kidneys, liver, pancreas, heart and lung.
"I would just like to touch her heart," she says of the 18-year-old Georgia girl who received Kainen's heart. "I want to touch her chest and feel her heart beat, knowing that's Kainen's heart. He had a really big heart."
Other organ recipients include a 53-year-old veteran, 44-year-old single mom, 63-year-old woman in Tennessee and 63-year-old Ohio man.