The father of a 20-year-old man who died in an Edmonton hospital after sustaining head injuries in Yellowknife is hoping his son’s story will encourage more Canadians to donate their organs.

Emerson Curran was badly beaten in a fight at a house party in Yellowknife in August and died in hospital in Edmonton. 

Michael Curran, Emerson’s father, is now speaking out about how the death of his son turned into an inspiring lesson about the importance of organ donations.

Emerson Curran had been working at Air Tindi in Yellowknife for the summer. He had been studying philosophy at the University of Ottawa.

On Aug. 24 his parents got a call in the middle of the night at their home in Ottawa informing them Emerson had been seriously injured. At the airport they got a second call telling them Emerson's head injury was worse and he was being medevaced to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. By the time his parents arrived there from Ottawa, doctors told them he was gone.

Michael Curran says Emerson had spoken to his mother once during a long car trip about his wish to donate his organs.

"He was sharing his views on life and the afterlife and for some, now we think very odd reason, he made his views on organ donation very clear to my wife, saying if he was to pass. he thought his organs should be used to save the lives of other people."

The Currans asked for Emerson's organs to be donated. His heart, lungs, liver, two kidneys and his pancreas were transplanted.

Michael Curran says he is speaking out about his family's experience because he says a lot of people feel organ donation is done for the recipients, but that there are benefits to the family of the donor as well. 

"This was a nightmare situation that we went through, and the organ donation process for me and my wife was a real sign of hope in a very bleak situation."