Stewartstown firefighter saved additional lives with organ donations
- Harrisburg Bureau of Fire Lt. Dennis DeVoe was honored at a memorial service Friday in Harrusburg.
- DeVoe's widow Amy said five of her husbands were donated, as well as body tissue.
Fallen Harrisburg Bureau of Fire Lt. Dennis DeVoe saved additional lives after his accident and death earlier this month, adding to a call of duty that he answered “a thousand times before,” according to his wife.
Amy DeVoe lost her husband March 11, a day after he was struck on his way to a house fire in Harrisburg. Dennis DeVoe, referred to by friends and family as Denny, was honored last weekend in York and Harrisburg with several services, including a funeral procession that circled the Capitol building.
Before the services, his wife left a message to friends in a Facebook post stating, “Denny’s selflessness and life-saving legacy continues” in the form of organ donation.
Amy DeVoe said her husband’s heart, lungs, liver and both kidneys were successfully transplanted to save the lives of five people, whom she said “would have otherwise not survived.”
Amy DeVoe has not spoken publicly since her husband’s death, but has updated her profile photo on Facebook with her hand over Lt. DeVoe’s hand in what appears to be his hospital bed. She captioned the photo stating, “My love. My life. My everything.”
Gift of Life, the organization that worked with Denny DeVoe’s family in the organ donation, said he was an exemplary firefighter and, now, organ donor.
Along with the organ donations, body tissue from Denny DeVoe will be ready for use in the coming weeks in as many as 100 surgeries, according to Amy DeVoe.
“It’s remarkable to think about Denny being able to help a child who may be in a burn unit or knowing two people will wake up and see the sunrise tomorrow,” she added.
“It is truly amazing how heroic he was,” said Gift of Life spokeswoman Dwendy Johnson. She said more than 8,000 people are waiting for organs in Pennsylvania.
Johnson said body tissue serves a "multitude" of needs and can comprise many body parts, including ligaments and bone. She cited its recommended use in helping repair an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
“Lt. DeVoe’s decision to be an organ-and-tissue donor, which he had indicated on his driver’s license, was in keeping with his life of heroism and service,” a statement from the organization read. “He and his family have given others a second chance at life.”
Gift of Life promotes organ donation in several Atlantic states, including eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. For more information on organ donation and how to apply to become one, visit Gift of Life’s website at www.donors1.org.