Cody Barrasse

Photo Credit / Cody Barrasse Foundation

Doctor’s son leaves legacy of hope

On Cody Barrasse’s 22nd birthday in 2013, he was preparing to graduate from Penn state and head to law school, a bright future ahead for the young man whose mom, Dr. Linda Barrasse, called him “the personification of joy.”

That day, he and Linda were in the car when he suddenly told her if anything ever happened to him, he wanted all of his organs donated, Linda, a cardiologist, recalled.

She thought it was an odd impromptu conversation to have and waived him off, but Cody pressed. A big supporter of organ and tissue donation herself, Linda committed to keeping his promise.

“God was preparing me to make the decision that would need to be made,” she said in remembering that day.

Tragically, a few months later, Cody died after being struck by a car while visiting friends in Pittsburgh.

His memory lives on through the eight lives he saved that night with his organ donation. The youngest was an 18-month-old with an abnormal liver.

“It’s a miracle,” Linda said.

Cody continues to help foster organ and tissue donation through the Cody Barrasse Memorial Foundation. In part, it raises money to provide scholarships to Cody’s alma mater, Scranton Prep High School. It also operates the Organ Transplant Assistance Program dedicated to education and giving grants to people in northeastern Pennsylvania who are awaiting transplant.

More than 7,000 people living in Pennsylvania are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. It’s easy to sign up to be an organ donor when getting a driver’s license; it’s also just as easy to sign up online.

When Linda talks about Ryan’s desire to be an organ donor, she said it’s exactly who he was.

“That’s love,” Linda says. “He didn’t need his organs in heaven.”