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Parents of Arizona organ donor give others hope in new book

Something Good is sponsored by Papa Murphy’s .
Janice and Bryan Langford are continuing their son's legacy as an organ, eye, and tissue donor in a new book. Something Good is sponsored by Papa Murphy's.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 8:13 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Organ donation can be a way of turning loss and grief into something healing. The parents of an Arizona organ donor published a book about their grief and compassion through the tragic loss of their son, Justin Langford. He has saved lives, and that is Something Good.

Justin Langford was 23 when he died. His organs saved the lives of others.
Justin Langford was 23 when he died. His organs saved the lives of others.(Donor Network of Arizona via Arizona's Family)

Justin was just 23 when he died while on a work project in Flagstaff. Four years after his death, his parents met three people who received his organs. One of them was Fernando Zazueta, who has Justin’s heart. It was an incredible moment for Justin’s parents, Janice and Bryan Langford, to be able to hear their son’s heartbeat once again. “I think.... he would be happy that other people are living longer,” said Janice, holding back tears.

It was an incredible moment for Justin's parents, Janice and Bryan Langford, to be able to hear...
It was an incredible moment for Justin's parents, Janice and Bryan Langford, to be able to hear their son's heartbeat once again.(Donor Network of Arizona via Arizona's Family)

Michael Valdez received one of Justin’s kidneys and his pancreas. Little Alex Taylor got the other kidney. His mom, Kassandra Taylor, describes the situation as a double-edged sword. She is thankful that her son gets a second chance at life with a new kidney, but it comes at the price of another family’s tragedy and heartbreak. “He seems like he would’ve been an awesome person to better the world,” Taylor said. “But at the same time, I’m so grateful for the gift he gave my son for life because he wouldn’t be with us today if it wasn’t for that.”

Fernando Zazueta has Justin's heart. Michael Valdez received one of Justin's kidneys and his...
Fernando Zazueta has Justin's heart. Michael Valdez received one of Justin's kidneys and his pancreas. Little Alex Taylor got the other kidney.(Donor Network of Arizona via Arizona's Family)

“Every day is hard; that doesn’t change when you lose a child,” Bryan said. “And when that level of grief hits you, you have to be able to breathe and exhale. But we get out of bed each day; God gives us purpose to give hope.”

Giving hope to others is now the Langfords’ mission. Janice and Bryan are continuing Justin’s legacy as an organ, eye, and tissue donor in their book “Beauty and Hope from the Ashes: A journey through life, tragedy, hope, community, and faith.”

Janice and Bryan are continuing Justin's legacy as an organ, eye and tissue donor in their book.
Janice and Bryan are continuing Justin's legacy as an organ, eye and tissue donor in their book.(Amazon)

In Arizona, more than 2,200 people are waiting for an organ. Across the country, about 106,000 people are waiting for a second chance at life. Donate Life America says sadly, 17 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. Right now, more than 4 million Arizonans are in the DonateLifeAZ Registry.

How to become an organ donor in Arizona

Is Something Good happening in your neighborhood or community? We’d love to hear from you! Go to www.azfamily.com/goto/somethinggood or email Tess Rafols at trafols@azfamily.com