Grandfather one of 6 recipients of organs from Alto football player

Published: Oct. 22, 2015 at 3:54 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2015 at 6:49 PM CDT
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Source: Laurie Gould
Source: Laurie Gould
Alto football players and community members gather on the football field at a prayer rally in...
Alto football players and community members gather on the football field at a prayer rally in honor of Cam'ron Matthews. (Source: KTRE Staff)

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - In addition to the fond memories of a teen who loved football and was a good friend, Cam'ron Matthews, the Alto football player who collapsed during a football game and later died, will live on in another way.

Matthews was an organ donor. In all, he donated seven organs. One of the person's helped by the organ donation was the 16-year-old's grandfather, who received a kidney. Another person received two of his organs.

"God also is using Cam'ron to help save people spiritually," a statement from Matthews' family said. "The number of lives he has touched is ongoing. Being an organ donor allowed his family more time to say goodbye to their son."

The statement went on to say that God's grace has given the family peace.

"Cam'ron will live on in the lives of others, spiritually and physically," the statement said. "This selfless gift that he gave others was how Cam'ron lived his live."

In addition, the statement from Matthews' family pointed out that there are more than 13,000 people in Texas alone that are waiting on life-saving organ transplants, "so organ donation and saying yes to the gift of life are vitally important."

Matthews collapsed during the Alto Yellowjackets game against Carlisle on Oct. 16. He was airlifted from the field to a Tyler hospital. He died Saturday.

Alto ISD Superintendent Kerry Birdwell said he received the word from the school's athletic director, who was with the Matthews' family when they learned the cause from the doctor. He said the doctor said the aneurysm "may not be" football-related.

According to a notice that appeared on the Alto Independent School District Web site Tuesday, services for Matthews will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 in the Rusk High School gymnasium (Eagle Coliseum). There will be no visitation.

"Please continue to pray for the Matthews family," the Alto ISD Web site stated.

Birdwell said for now, this Friday's road game against Cayuga will be played as planned.

Last Friday's game against Carlisle was postponed once Matthews collapsed. Paul Gould, Alto High School's head football coach said Thursday that Carlisle has officially forfeited the game. The final score before the game was postponed was 21-7, and that is the one that will go on record for the game.

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