Roseville family turns tragedy into hope for others

austin_stoi

A Roseville family is hoping to turn their tragedy into hope for others. Austin Stoi

Christopher Stoi said he was not ready to let go of his son, Austin, who died of suicide recently. Through Gift of Life Michigan, Austin was able to donate several organs, as well as tissues that ultimately saved seven lives. He was only 20 years old.

“I was looking down at my son, who was being kept alive on a ventilator,” Christopher said. “I knew his heart was still beating. To think it is beating on in someone else is amazing. I never had a second thought about the decision to donate his organs.”

Austin’s mother, Michelle said it helped the family knowing that Austin lived on and helped heal other people. Now they’re hoping to increase awareness of suicide prevention and alternative programs, so that other families don’t experience the pain they are going through.

“I want people to know they are never alone,” she said. “There’s help out there.”

Austin Stoi was always a gearhead, into anything with an engine on it. He was also an avid bmx biker and a regular at the Landslide Skate Park in Clinton Township, where he was known to defy gravity on his bike, brushing off many a fall and spill. He loved Ford Mustangs, too, owning, fixing up and racing them since he turned 16.

A 2018 graduate of DRIVE One Career Technical High School in Roseville, his friends and family remember him as a “people person” who truly cared about others.

“He loved to help people,” said his sister-in-law, Danielle Black. She said he was a best friend to her own children, aged 8 and 10. “He always liked to make sure other people had a smile on their faces.”

The family hosted a memorial at the John F Kennedy Skate Park in Eastpointe recently to honor his life and to provide information to help people who may be considering doing harm to themselves.

“Austin was here for a reason,” his mother said. “When he loved, he loved with all his heart. We’re just hoping we can help save one life. We don’t want any family to go through what we’re going through.”

Read More Posts
Donor Mother Teena Smith (left) and heart recipient Sharon Culbreath.

“It’s like I have a new family now”

Michigan woman meets son’s heart recipient Two years after her son died, Teena Smith heard…

Read More
Senator Kevin Daly stands at a podium in front of a Check Your Heart banner on the Michigan Capitol steps

Gift of Life Michigan calls for action as Michigan Organ Donor Registry grows at the slowest pace since its founding

About 2,400 patients are waiting in Michigan this month for a life-saving organ transplant. The…

Read More
Michigan Department of Natural Resources logo

Gift of Life Michigan, DNR team up to save lives

New partnership will ask hunters, anglers to ‘Check Your Heart’ Hunters and anglers in Michigan…

Read More
Graphic celebrating 1 million organ transplants, with Gift of Life Michigan and United Network for Organ Sharing logos

U.S. reaches historic milestone of 1 million organ transplants

Gift of Life Michigan joins national ‘Living it Forward’ initiative to advance next million Ann…

Read More

Foundation grant honors heart recipient who inspired many

  On Saturday, Aug. 27, a $10,000 grant was presented to the Gift of Life…

Read More
Artelia Griggs and Donnie Parker wave as they finish the 5K walk

LIFE Walk returns to historic Belle Isle for 25th year

Thousands attend event celebrating life, organ and tissue donation The annual LIFE Walk/Run drew nearly…

Read More
Scroll to Top