Bond of a Lifetime

The Grays and Sparks had never met before Clayton’s accident, but they had a lot of mutual friends. When the accident occurred and the Sparks were getting ready to honor Clayton’s wishes to be an organ donor, they heard the Grays’ story. Abby was 21 weeks pregnant with miracle IVF twins after years of infertility and loss. Beth and Larry Sparks, Clayton’s parents, had gone through infertility themselves and knew the struggle all too well. Clayton’s accident was in Colorado, but the Gray family and the Sparks family only live about an hour from each other in Texas. In fact, Abby grew up just 20 minutes from the Sparks home. It was a long shot to do a direct donation and have it be a match. But they all just felt it was the right thing and moved forward with it. To everyone’s amazement, Clayton was a match for Reid. The Houston Methodist transplant team flew to Colorado to retrieve Clayton’s liver and it changed these families lives forever.

The act of organ donation brought these two families together, and they have formed such an amazing bond. Beth and Larry Sparks are now lovingly referred to as “BeBe and Pops” by the Grays, and Oliver and Kaylee (the Gray twins) see them as grandparents. Oliver’s middle name is Clayton to honor their hero, and his name is spoken often in the Gray home. The Grays have heard so many amazing stories of Clayton over the last three years that Abby wanted to ensure his legacy lived on and he was able to continue to inspire children to do good for others. A natural giving heart like Clayton’s is rare, but Abby believes if she can share just a few of his acts of service that it can spark the kindness that lives in every child.