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Referee who died donates organs

Referee who died donates organs
"We know he already saved a lot of lives that's the only comfort I have right now," -Johana Portillo
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Soccer referee Ricardo Portillo died in the hospital a week after a 17-year-old player allegedly punched him during a match.

His daughter Johana Portillo says she is finding comfort in his decision to donates his organs.

ABC 4 Utah doesn't know the exact organs taken from Ricardo's body because of HIPPA laws, but he has the potential to save 9 lives.

"We know he already saved a lot of lives, that's the only comfort I have right now.  He donated all his organs.  He helped a lot of people," said Johana.

He could have donated his heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, small bowel, kidneys, whole cornea, skin, tendons, bones and veins. All of these parts are desperately needed by people hoping for a second chance at life.

"In a way it's knowing that he'll still be around with us," said Johana.

Intermountain Donor Services spokesman Alex McDonald says it's common for others like Johana to find comfort in this way.

"An awful lot of the donor families that we work with really do express that when their loved one has passed away the only bright spot in that day, the only good to come out of that horrible day, is knowing that somebody else will have their lives go on," said McDonald.

Ricardo's family won't know who his organs save for one year.  It'll give his family a chance to grieve.

Click on the attached link to learn more about organ donations.

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