Local News

Newborn on life support declared legally brain dead

Posted September 12, 2012

— Family members of an infant who has been on life support since he was born said Wednesday they plan to donate his organs.

Will Riggans was legally declared brain dead Tuesday but was kept on life support so that doctors could harvest his organs.

He was 10 days old.

Will's parents were on their way to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill on Sept. 1 to give birth when they were in a wreck. His mother, Megan Riggans, died. His father, Casey Riggans, was seriously injured.

Doctors said Will was deprived in-utero of oxygen and suffered head trauma from the wreck. He never opened his eyes, cried or moved his arms and legs.

Family members said they are comforted that Will can live on in other babies who are fighting to survive.


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  • voice your opinion Sep 17, 2012

    As a donor recipient, the people who get baby Will's organs will be forever grateful. Every year on the anniversary of my surgery, I say a pray for the family who so graciously gave of their loved one's organs. It truely is a blessing.

  • Fireflies Rock Sep 13, 2012

    so sorry baby Will won't make it; what a wonderful, giving act by his family to donate his organs so another family won't have to experience the misery of a baby's death. Prayers sent to this family and all that will be helped.

  • driverkid3 Sep 13, 2012

    I have no children, so I can only imagine what this family is going through. I've seen the interviews with the Uncle, and it seemed like they were/are at peace with whatever happened with Will. I pray that they will continue to be at peace with this, and know that there are thousands of people out here supporting and caring for you throughout this tragedy. You have my thoughts and prayers going your way also.

  • Just Plain Common Sense Sep 12, 2012

    Poor baby. He is in his mother's arms with God, but what a horrible tragedy. May God give his father the strength to carry on, one day at a time. God bless and be with you. I am sorry for the loss of your beautiful family and hope you know that people love you and support you. I can not even imagine the pain you must feel.

  • alwaysamused Sep 12, 2012

    such a beautiful, selfless act to donate his organs. i admire their strength and charity at a time when they are entitled to think only of themselves. i hope knowing that other babies will live because of their decision eases the pain, even if only a tiny bit.

  • hmmmmm Sep 12, 2012

    My heart aches so badly for this family. I know what Casey feels like losing a spouse, but cannot fathom the feeling of losing your child. When my husband passed, I was pregnant, my baby saved my life! I was hoping this baby would be this Daddy's savior & would give him the will to continue. I guess it was GODS will that that precious little baby be here for a little while. His Mommy needs to hold her baby now, what a selfless & amazing gift it is to donate organs. This baby is going to save sooo many lives. Maybe one of them will grow up to change the world! God Bless you Riggins family, your sweet, sweet, precious Will is an angel in waiting.

  • Kbo Sep 12, 2012

    c4heels- read the caption, the family provide the picture. They would have had to have signed off on it even if they hadn't.

  • atheistswillrule Sep 12, 2012

    God bless this little sweet angel! I am so certain that he is now in his mothers arms at the foot of God's throne!

  • cmarshallnc Sep 12, 2012

    Is the a fund to donate to this family?

  • rachel Sep 12, 2012

    the photos of this baby could not be here without the express permission of the family- I think they wanted the world to meet him, even for the brief time he was with us.