School principal dies after donating bone marrow to teenager he’s never met

2019-04-11 11:47
Derick Nelson. (Photo: Facebook/Mayor Shelley Brindle)

Derick Nelson. (Photo: Facebook/Mayor Shelley Brindle)

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An American high school principal tragically died from complications after donating his bone marrow to a 14-year-old boy.

Derrick Nelson from New Jersey in the US fell into a coma at a hospital in Bergen County in February, following a procedure to donate his bone marrow to a sick boy in France, his 81-year-old father, Willie, told

“After the procedure he couldn’t speak and was lying in the bed,” Willie said.

“His eyes were open and he realised who we were. But he couldn’t move. He never spoke again.”

In hopes he’d recover, Derrick’s family, including his parents, fiancée and six-year-old daughter, held a vigil in his hospital room, People reports.

But the Westfield High School principal sadly passed away on Sunday 7 April.

“We really don’t know the full story of what happened.

“We were expecting him to come out of the coma he was in. But he didn’t make it,” his devastated father said.

In February, the Westfield high school newspaper reported that Derrick had decided to donate his marrow to a young boy after being contacted by the bone marrow donor programme Be the Match.

"If it's just a little bit of pain for a little bit of time that can give someone years of joy, it's all worth it," the principal told the school paper.

In a recent interview with CNN, Derrick’s fiancée, Sheronda Braker, said he was the kindest man she knew.

“He loved his family almost beyond belief,” Sheronda said.

“He was a man who carried himself with dignity, courage and compassion.

“His last kind and generous act on this earth, in giving so someone else might live, is a true testament to who he was and how he should always be remembered. We will always love him.”

Sources: People, CNN,  

Read more on:    us  |  health

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