Dad killed by wave donates organs to 55 others: ‘He was always thinking of other people’

Click to play video 'Father of 6 killed by ‘intense wave’ at Carolina beach' Father of 6 killed by ‘intense wave’ at Carolina beach
WATCH: Lee Dingle was playing in the waves with his kids when a "freak accident" left him with a fatal head injury, his wife says – Jul 22, 2019

A devoted father of six who was killed by a rogue wave last week is continuing to help others following his death, after his organs were donated to 55 people.

Lee Dingle, 37, died on July 18 of a head injury caused by a wave that slammed him into the sand at a beach on Oak Island, N.C. Dingle had been playing in the water with three of his six children at the time.

READ MORE: Father of 6 killed by ‘intense wave’ at Carolina beach

Dingle’s death prompted a flood of sympathy from his community, where he was well-known for adopting four of his six children, including a young girl with cerebral palsy from Taiwan.

People have donated more than US$283,000 to Dingle’s surviving family through a GoFundMe campaign set up by a friend.

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“If you didn’t know him, I’m sorry. You missed out,” Dingle’s wife, Shannon, wrote in a blog post about him following his death.

Shannon and Lee Dingle, centre, are shown with their six children. Lisa Watterson/GoFundMe

Dingle’s parents say all of his organs have since been donated to 55 people in need of transplants. They informed local news station WSOCTV of the donation in a brief message last week.

READ MORE: Death of player in Humboldt Broncos bus crash highlighted organ donation

Tom Caldwell, who was Dingle’s boss at Atlas Engineering, said he’s not surprised by the man’s final act of selflessness.

“He was always thinking of other people,” Caldwell told CNN. “It’s just like him. God bless him, I don’t doubt that at all — it’s just right in line with his life.”

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Lee and Shannon Dingle are shown with their adopted daughter, Zoe. The Archibald Project/Facebook

Dingle’s wife says she’s grateful that his organs will be able to help others. She says it was a straightforward decision to sign off on the donations, but it was still an extremely difficult process.

“Your loved ones need to know if it matters to you,” she tweeted.

Shannon added that the donations come as little comfort as she and her six children try to put their lives back together.

“Please never use this to try to paint a silver lining around our deep grief,” she tweeted.


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