Lincoln man helps over 80 people with organ donations

10/11 NOW at 6
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 4:12 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - There are at least 85 people who were impacted by Chuck Bensley’s life. The Lincoln man died from a work accident and his family decided to donate his organs.

Chuck was on a ladder at work in August of 2019 when it slid out from under him and he never regained consciousness.

“It was the fastest 36 hours that I’ve ever known,” Amanda said.

In the hospital, Amanda agreed to donate his organs.

“My immediate answer was yes,” Amanda said. “And then I sat for a second and I looked at my family and friends, a couple of good friends with that were with us. And I said that was the right answer, right? Like, that’s what I should do. And they’re like, absolutely, he would want to continue that and give to others.”

Now, there are a few things you should know about Chuck, according to his wife Amanda. He loved his daughter more than anything; he could hardly tell a story without slapping his knees and crying because it was so funny to him; and he was the first to offer to help someone with something every time.

“He was the one that always was the giver in his quote, unquote, spare time,” Amanda said. “Whether he really had that time or not, that was debatable at our house often.”

Even in death, Chuck kept helping. Amanda believes that’s the way his legacy lives on. Chuck touched 85 lives through a variety of organ and tissue donations that spanned 18 states.

Four people got life-saving organ transplants. 79 bone, tendon, and skin grafts helped with spinal, orthopedic, and reconstructive surgeries. Another two people got the gift of sight from his corneal donation.

“To think that he is like, he’s across the state, like he’s in 18 different states, like the fact that he’s been able to help that many people is just amazing to me,” Amanda said.

Live On Nebraska said right now there are 100,000 people in the U.S. waiting for life-saving organ transplants. In Nebraska, there are 300 people waiting.

“One person can make such a huge difference,” said Kara Cordell, with Live On Nebraska. “I think people don’t think about that, you know, they’re like, oh, maybe I could save a life with one life save is amazing. But 85 people, 100 people, I mean, what greater feeling to know that after you’re gone, you could still be making such a difference for other people?”

Amanda said, of course, she wishes Chuck was alive but she is glad the spirit of him, lives on with others.

“He would think right now that we are making way too big of a deal about him and everything that is going on with it because he was not like, that was not him. He was very low-key. He did not you know, like big hoopla. None of that,” Amanda said. “He would be like, ‘Oh my gosh, can you guys just stop already? Like, it’s been three and a half years. Like, it’s just me like, that’s, that’s how he would be like, this really wasn’t that big of a deal. Like I just did what I would do,’ because that’s how he was. He would just be helpful.”

Becoming an organ donor is very simple. You can register when getting or renewing your license at the DMV or you can register with Live On Nebraska.