While on an annual family group camping trip, 16-year-old Kyle Zuleg was killed by a falling tree limb while playing flashlight tag with friends in a forest preserve. Kyle’s family made the selfless decision to donate Kyle’s organs, saving five people.
Kyle Zuleg was a healthy 16-year-old boy with big ambitions to be a sports broadcaster. Kyle was a volleyball player, a Packer fan and a boy who truly loved being with his family and cousins especially while vacationing in the Montana mountains.
On our last weekend spent with Kyle we went camping. It was during a game of flashlight tag when Kyle was lying on the ground waiting to tag his rival when a large and heavy tree branch fell on him from about 30 feet in the air. The impact of the tree branch resulted in a lethal spinal cord injury.
Despite all efforts to save Kyle we were told he was brain dead. Our efforts then shifted from saving Kyle to having Kyle save others through his most noble and priceless gift of organ donation. Kyle’s organs allowed five other people a chance to live healthier lives. In his short life, he meant the world to the five people who now share him.
Kyle Shines On and will forever be the HERO in our family.
After his passing, Kyle’s family created the Kyle Zuleg Foundation in his honor. One of the missions of Kyle’s foundation is to support organ donor families. In honor of those who choose and are able to give the gift of life through organ donation, a monogrammed “forever in our hearts” blanket is given to the families as they wait while their loved one is prepared to give the gift of life. Gift of Hope has partnered with the Zuleg Foundation to provide hospitals in its service area with blankets for donor families. To learn more about the Zuleg Foundation, visit kyleshineson.org
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