Son’s giving spirit lives on through family’s decision to donate
Years after his death, Deveraux Hubbard II continues living up to his superhero nickname, thanks to his family’s decision to say yes to donation.
A loving son, honor student, athlete, Eagle Scout and church youth group leader, the generally easygoing teen-ager earned the nickname “The Hulk” for his prowess on the football field as well as his fierce protection of others.
His parents knew their son, also known as “2”, would do whatever he could to help someone in need. When Devereaux died unexpectedly in December 2013, the decision to donate came naturally.
Devereaux’s corneas went to an Illinois resident at risk of losing their sight. That person can now see their family’s faces and their friends’ smiles due to “2’s” gift.
Deveraux was just 19 years old when, on his way home from college to visit family for winter break, he began feeling ill. Two days later, his mother, Kristie, called the emergency room and was told that he likely had a viral infection and should visit his physician the next day.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the next day,” Kristie says. Unable to breathe, Kristie’s son died in the backseat of their car on the way to the hospital later that night.
“He passed out and I jumped in the back seat and performed CPR, but he was gone, and I knew it,” Kristie says.
Deveraux had suffered a pulmonary embolism, which his family later learned was caused by a genetic trait called Factor V Leiden, a mutation of one of the clotting factors in the blood that can increase the chance of developing abnormal clots, most commonly in the legs and lungs.
A family conversation
Long before he fell ill, Deveraux “2” talked with his parents about organ, eye and tissue donation. Thanks to those talks, Kristie said she and her husband knew their son would want to do everything he could to improve someone else’s life.
“We talked about donation as a family often,” says Kristie, who serves as director of operations and community engagement at St. Paul Baptist Church in Peoria, where her husband Devereaux is pastor. “It’s always been important for my husband and I that our kids understand that the myths often spread about donation are just not true. God wants us to be a blessing to the rest of the world in every way we can be.”
The Hubbards share the story of their son’s gift of sight as volunteers with Gift of Hope. Through 2’s story, they hope to encourage families to have the discussion about organ donation before there’s a need to make a decision.
Honoring Deveraux “2”
Deveraux 2 is among the donors honored on street pole banners on the downtown Peoria, Ill., riverfront as the city celebrates National Minority Donor Awareness Month throughout August 2021.
“This tribute is so fitting for Deveraux “2,” Kristie says. “I’d rather he be here, but if I can’t have that, then at least I get to see him up there and I can’t wait to, because he was larger than life and he loved helping others and giving of himself.”
Join the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry by Clicking Here or Texting HOPE to 51555.