Two Louisville fathers bonded over the gift of life

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two fathers bound by tragedy and triumph stood side-by-side Friday for a ceremony to bring awareness to organ transplantation.

Michael Chumbler lost his son Kam in May of 2015 from an accidental gunfire. 

Chumbler said, "Kam, basketball wise hit more last second shots than anyone I've ever seen in my who life. He did the same thing when he passed away. He came through at that last minute." 

The last minute came at just the right time for Paul Mattingly, who had been suffering for more than a year with a rare lung disease. 

"It's like you're in a life raft and you know it's sinking. You're loosing air," said Mattingly. But his raft stayed afloat thanks to a double lung transplant from 20-year-old Kam Chumbler.

"When they first woke me up I started crying cause I knew what it felt like," Mattingly said. "My son was 19 and he took his own life ... we decided to donate his organs and he saved four or five people."

The fathers joined a crowd of organ donors, recipients and their families and some still waiting for the call Friday at University Hospital. 

They raised a flag in a public display to encourage others to register as an organ donor.

Doctors say 100,000 patients in the U.S. need an organ donation and more than 1,000 are waiting in Kentucky. 

You can now register to be an organ donor by using the health app on an iPhone or by visiting the Donate Life website.

April is National Donate Life Organ Donation Awareness month. 

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