HCA Florida Capital Hospital honors family whose son gave gift of life

Johnquez Grayer died last year at 19, and he gave two people the gift of life by donating his heart and kidney.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 7:33 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - HCA Florida Capital Hospital celebrated the gift of life Wednesday, honoring a local family whose son saved two people through organ donation.

Johnquez Grayer was the very first “donation after circulatory death,” or DCD, heart donor in this region.

This kind of procedure is made possible because of new technology, and hospital staff say it will increase the donor pool by up to 30%.

Grayer’s mother, Ceiji Grayer, spoke briefly at the ceremony.

“On March 28, 2001, a prince was born by the name of Johnquez Grayer,” Ceiji Grayer said. “He was a beautiful person.”

After a pause, Ceiji was unable to continue speaking. Janet Shipman, a representative with LifeQuest, read the rest of her remarks.

“Growing up, he was the happiest child and always had a smile on his face,” Shipman read.

Johnquez died last year at 19, and he gave two people the gift of life by donating his heart and kidney.

Hospital staff honored him to mark “Donate Life” month.

“Each patient waiting for an organ transplant faces a day-by-day struggle for survival,” said Tara Beth Anderson with Capital Hospital. “A week to week effort to maintain some semblance of what the rest of us take for granted every day.”

For some hospital staff, this issue is personal.

“A lot of people are on a waiting list,” Michael McCammon, who works in facilities maintenance, said. “They don’t ever sometimes make that list, but my mom did. And our family is so blessed by it.”

McCammon’s mother was given a kidney last January. It saved her life and allowed her to stop dialysis after five years of treatment.

McCammon raised the flag in this ceremony, recognizing the life-saving gift from Johnquez Grayer.

More than 5,000 people are on the transplant waiting list here in Florida.

Hospital staff encouraged everyone to consider registering as an organ, tissue and eye donor at donatelifeflorida.org.

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