One last gift from her son — a kidney

Glinda McCoy awaited a visit from her son, Maurice McCoy, on Jan. 9. When he failed to show up at her Lorton home, she telephoned him but couldn’t get through.

“I called him and the line was busy. He was supposed to have been here at 8 o’clock,” McCoy, 49, said.

That evening Maurice watched television in the lower level of his Belvedere Drive town house in Dale City where he lived with several roommates.

When three shots were fired through a window, one bullet hit the 22-year-old in the head.

He never regained consciousness and died at the hospital two days later. His killer is still at large.

“I kept calling up until 9 o’clock. When I hung up the phone, one of his roommates called and told me Maurice had been shot,” she said.

Before being removed from life support, Maurice accomplished one final deed. He donated a kidney to his mother.

Glinda McCoy, who was on a waiting list for five years, knew her son was an organ donor but she didn’t know she was eligible as a recipient.

A representative of the Washington Regional Transplant Consortium contacted her soon after the shooting.

“[Becoming a recipient] didn’t come across my mind at the time,” said McCoy, who has been working part-time night jobs since she was laid off from a phone company several years ago.

“It just came up that I was on the transplant list and they said, ‘Did you know that you can receive one of your son’s kidneys?’ “

The familial connections made Glinda McCoy a promising recipient and increased the chances that the transplant would be a success.

Still, McCoy said she wasn’t convinced she was the best candidate for one of Maurice’s kidneys.

“I was thinking about the people who were a lot sicker than me,” she said.

“With me being on dialysis for over 10 years, I’ve seen a lot of people die who needed kidneys real bad and I’m talking about young people,” she said.

A word from Jasmine Johnson, her son’s fiancee and mother of Maurice’s 2 1/2-year-old, Devon, convinced her to reconsider.

“What made me go ahead and do it was that he had told his fiancee that if something was to ever happen to him, he wanted me to have his kidney,” McCoy said.

Sara Idler, spokeswoman for the consortium, said Maurice McCoy’s decision to become an organ donor saved other lives as well.

“There were seven recipients. Most of the organs went to people in this area. One went outside the area,” Idler said.

McCoy’s lungs went to two people. Another received his pancreas. One person got his liver and another got his remaining kidney, and another got his heart.

Generally there are eight transplantable organs that may be harvested from a body, Idler said. Because there is no intestinal transplant program in the Washington, D.C., area, generally only seven are recovered.

Idler said it isn’t often that people McCoy’s age think to sign up for organ donation.

“He had that he wanted to be an organ donor on his driver’s license, which is an exceptional step for a young man to take,” Idler said.

“How many 22-year-olds do you imagine think of their own deaths or consciously make the decision to have enough compassion and maturity to say, ‘You know if something happens to me … I want to do this,'” she said.

“That in itself is enough to say that he thought about it and had the compassion to know that he could do a lot of good. Which he did,” Idler said.

Glinda McCoy said it’s been difficult talking about her son’s decision, but it would have been more difficult if they hadn’t discussed his wishes before he died.

McCoy said she can understand why families might be reticent about organ donation if they hear about it for the first time at the hospital.

“We had already discussed this a long time ago,” McCoy said.

“He was a donor. I kind of want people to know that he saved a lot people. He was one life, but he saved six or seven people’s lives that night,” she said.

“I would just like more people to take organ donation more seriously. To sit down and talk to their families, so that if anything should ever happen to a loved one, they won’t have to go through the hurt and pain of someone approaching them to donate their loved one’s organs,” she said.

“There’s a time limit involved with all of this, so, when they come to you it seems kind of cold, but I just feel that if families would sit down and really discuss it and know the truth, when they are approached, it wouldn’t be such a hard thing to do,” McCoy said.

Mary Taylor, who has known Maurice McCoy since he was a boy who attended Neabsco Elementary School, said she was not surprised that he chose to be an organ donor.

“He was the sweetest thing you’d ever want to meet and he’s always been that way. I can’t see how anybody would do him like that,” Taylor, 73, said of the shooting.

Even after he grew up, Taylor said, McCoy would occasionally call to check on her.

“He used to call me and my daughter and see how we were doing,” she said. “He would always do anything for me that I wanted done.”

“That was so sweet to think about him, giving everybody what he could. That goes to show you what a nice person he was,” said Taylor, a retired Fort Belvoir housekeeper.

Now that McCoy has her son’s kidney, and is apparently returning to good health, she said she is looking forward to returning to a normal life and maybe furthering her education.

She’s been working night jobs, as her health allowed, since high blood pressure wrecked her kidneys.

“I had to get jobs according to my schedule at dialysis. I’ve been really, seriously, thinking about going back to school,” she said.

McCoy said she talked to Prince William County detectives Friday and they told her they’ve gotten little information about the shooting

“They [the detectives] just told me no one’s talking. They’re just being hush-hush,” she said of the police investigation in the Belvedere Drive neighborhood.

But McCoy is not discouraged.

“They’ll get who they’re after sooner or later,” she said.

Police ask that anyone with information about that anyone with information call Crime Solvers at (703) 670-3700. Callers do not have to give their names or testify in court and may receive up to $1,000 for information that results in arrest.

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