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Teen organ donor's family meets man whose life he saved

Family of teen organ donor meets recipient 01:37

Pennsylvania mom Amy Souders says she thinks of him as the silver lining to her tragedy.

68-year-old grandfather Tom Burke is alive today thanks to an organ transplant from Souders' son, Cody.

"I was at the edge of death. And with this liver transplant it brought me back to life," Burke told CBS News' Marlie Hall.

Burke is one of more than 50 people who received organ or tissue transplants from Cody Souders. Cody's heart, liver, and kidneys all saved lives. His corneas restored sight, his skin helped burn victims, and dozens of other tissues and body parts including bones, tendons, valves and veins were used to help patients with a host of medical problems.

Cody Souders

Cody was just 18 years old when he overdosed on prescription pills in 2013. He lingered on life support for five days before doctors declared him brain dead and his family carried out his wish to become an organ donor.

Knowing that Cody's death provided the gift of life for others has helped his mother and three siblings cope with their grief.

"My boy is my hero, and the fact that he got to help another human being, it's unbelievable," Amy Souders said.

She finally met transplant recipient Tom Burke at the annual Donor Dash fundraising event this spring in Philadelphia. The run and walk benefits the Gift of Life, a group that coordinates and encourages organ donations.

Amy Souders hugs liver transplant recipient Tom Burke. CBS News

The Souders family was there wearing "Cody's Crew" t-shirts, and there were both smiles and tears as they embraced Burke for the first time. Since he received Cody's liver and a new lease on life, Burke has welcomed his fifth grandchild and has another on the way.

Cody's story, Part 1: Teen organ donor touches dozens of lives

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