Family Donates Organs Of Edmond North Football Player

Thursday, October 13th 2011, 12:21 pm
By: News 9 and Jennifer Pierce, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- The grieving family of an Edmond North High School football player who died after breaking his leg during practice has decided to donate the teen's organs.

Sixteen-year-old Ryan Smith was practicing with the Huskies on Tuesday, October 11, when another player hit him from behind.  The impact broke the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg.

An ambulance rushed Ryan to OU Medical Center Edmond.  A spokesperson for Edmond Public Schools says Ryan was released from the hospital that same day to go home with his grandparents.

News 9 spoke with Ryan's family.  They say doctors told them to call an orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday because Ryan would need surgery.  But Wednesday morning, Ryan's grandparents noticed the 16-year-old was very lethargic.  They became so concerned they called 911.

Once again, Ryan was rushed by ambulance to the hospital.  This time he was taken to Integris Baptist Medical Center.  He died that night. 

"This just isn't supposed to happen," said Ryan's uncle Allan Lively.  "[The family] is extremely shocked and upset."

Grief counselors spent Thursday at Edmond North High School to help students cope with Ryan's sudden death.  His classmates and teammates are said to be taking the news very hard.

Ryan grew up in Carney, Oklahoma.  He moved in 2010 and spent his freshman year at Edmond Santa Fe High School.  He transferred his sophomore year to Edmond North.  Ryan was a defensive tackle on the junior varsity football team.

Donations in honor of Ryan Smith can be made to:

Ryan Smith Memorial Fund
Citizen's Bank
Attn: Coffee Creek Branch
P.O. Box 30
Edmond, OK 73083