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Brett’s Story: Meet The Urban Family

There are those rare people who can light up a room. Their joy, contagious. Their smile, infectious. Brett Urban was one of those people.

When he was only two years old, a tragic car accident killed Brett’s mother and left Brett and his older brother, Marcus, severely injured. Brett was unable to speak or use one side of his body and Marcus become paraplegic. Brett’s father, Todd, was left to parent three young boys on his own.

Brett Urban in the hospital.

Despite the tragedy, Brett continued to be a light for his family making them laugh with his silly, upbeat nature. He loved watching SpongeBob Square Pants, playing Duck Duck Goose and eating McDonald’s french fries.

When Brett was five, his family grew when Todd met and married Louise (Weezie), a pediatric nurse and mother of three girls. She and Todd blended his three boys with her three girls; they became a modern-day Brady Bunch – with all six kids within eight years of each other.

“There were the typical sibling fights and issues,” Weezie said. “But they had one thing in common – their adoration for Brett.”

Then on Easter Sunday, 2019, while 21-year-old Brett was with his grandparents visiting relatives, tragedy struck again. Brett fell on some steps, hit his head, and never regained consciousness.

With the help of the military, Brett’s twin brother – who was stationed with the Army in Poland and his sister – a pilot for the Air Force, stationed in Texas – came home to say goodbye to Brett.

Brett was taken off ventilated support on May 4, surrounded by his stepmother and big sisters, singing “Five Little Monkeys” – his favorite.  It’s the song they’d used to sing whenever he had tests done or an MRI. Brett liked the repetition and would laugh and do the actions. The song always kept him still and calm and provided peace and comfort to everyone in Brett’s final moments.

Because Brett was in the hospital for nearly a month, his family had time to think about many things, including if Brett would be an organ donor. They consulted their other children and they all supported it. In the end, being a donor aligned with both their values as a family and Brett’s as a person.

“We knew the positive impact it would have, said Weezie. “We raised the kids to know it’s their job to help others.”

Now more than a year after losing Brett, Todd and Weezie Urban, said Brett’s donation has truly been a blessing for them as family.

“Losing a child is horrible. There was no way to make sense of it but deciding to donate Brett’s organs has truly changed us,” said Weezie. “We are able to honestly say that life goes on [for someone else] because of Brett’s death and it takes so much weight off our hearts.”

Brett saved two people with his left and right kidney and healed dozens of others through restorative tissue.

His family continues to honor Brett’s memory in many ways big and small. They’ve served meals at the Ronald McDonald House and attended LifeSource donor family events. When Brett’s sister, Sawyer, got married on August 24, 2019, the family celebrated Brett, and the lives he saved and healed, by wearing Donate Life “Donor Family” pins. Sawyer even had “Donate Life” sewn inside her wedding dress, over her heart.

Todd and Weezie recently heard from one of Brett’s kidney recipients who is getting stronger every day and so grateful for the life-saving gift.

Brett’s light continues shining through the two people he saved and healed. That’s one of the beautiful things about donation: you can pass your light on for others to carry.

“Let your light shine so brightly, that others can see their way out of the dark.”
– Katrina Mayer