DETROIT - It's not often you get a chance to help the world after you've left it.
Detroit Tigers minor leaguer Chace Numata has saved five lives with his donated organs after dying last week following a tragic accident.
Numata, catcher for the Double-A Lake Erie SeaWolves, was hospitalized after a skateboarding accident Friday morning. He died from his injuries Sept. 2. UPMC says he was able to give his heart, liver, pancreas and both kidneys to save five lives.
The video above from the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and UPMC shows the moment that together, his family, and staff from the UPMC Hamot hospital in Erie and CORE, sent him off the right -- with an honor walk.
UPMC says he was taken from his hospital room down the corridor to the operating room. With his favorite song, KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Give it Up,” playing in the background, members of his family along with Erie SeaWolves President Greg Coleman pushed him through the hospital.
At the end of his walk, his parents kissed him goodbye one last time.
"Chace has always been such a caring and giving person who loved to help others and his final wish is to do exactly that,” the Numata family said in a written statement. “God blessed him with so many gifts during his lifetime, and now Chace has the ability to continue his legacy by saving lives with the gift of giving his organs to those in need. ‘Chace Boy,’ we are so proud of you for all that you are, all that you have done and all that you are doing."
Numata was a native of Pearl City, Hawaii, who had been drafted in the 14th round of the 2010 by the Philadelphia Phillies and signed a minor league contract with the Tigers last November. He spent time between the Sea Wolves and Triple-A Mud Hens this year.
The popular switch-hitting catcher was called "the heart and soul" of the SeaWolves as condolences poured in after his passing. You can donate to the Chace Numata Fund here.