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Granger Smith's wife shares that their late son, River, saved 2 lives

The country star and his wife, Amber, found a silver lining after tragedy struck in early June.
/ Source: TODAY

It’s been an emotional month for Granger and Amber Smith. Following the tragic death of their three-year-old son, River, back in early June, the couple has been quietly grieving away from the spotlight.

After his son’s untimely death, the country singer shared in an emotional Instagram post, announcing that he and his wife “made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life.”

On Saturday afternoon, Amber shared a smiling photo of her son on Instagram, using her caption to speak more on the organ donation process. In the caption, she proudly shared that their son’s organs had saved two lives.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a donor if anything were to ever happen to me,” the 37-year-old mother started. “I just felt that if I had viable organs, why would I go into the ground with them? My spirit would be in Heaven, so why not save a life if I could? Never in a million years did I think I would be making that decision for my baby.”

Amber went on to write, sharing her emotional experience of her son’s final moments on earth.

“When 3 different neuro specialists told us that River had 0% chance of brain recovery (yes 0, not 10 or 1%, 0) after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others?” she wrote. “His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something. There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives.”

The mother of three explained the difficulty of the organ donation process, including the search for viable recipients, a task that could take days to complete.

“We knew River’s spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn’t bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for 3 or more more days while they searched,” she wrote.

Amber said the doctors tried to expedite the process for her and her family, but would not know which organs were viable for donation until after, as they had to be measured physically and not via X-ray.

“I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood,” Amber shared. “The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the “walk of honor”. We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone. Granger and I held each other and cried.”

Despite the tragedy and emotional turmoil the Smith family had gone through, there was a light at the end of the tunnel for the pair.

“We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to 2 adults,” Amber shared. “A 49 year old woman and a 53 year old man.”

Granger Smith and Amber Smith visit Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas to present a donation in memory of their son, River Kelly Smith on June 25, 2019 in Austin, Texas.Rick Kern / Getty Images

The mother-of-three shared her love and prayers for the two donor recipients, paying honor to her late son.

“I’m so proud to be River’s mama and I’m so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible 3 years,” Amber wrote, ending her emotional post. “I pray these 2 recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made. There are over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting. Go to to see how you can help give life as well.”