FARGO — A much-loved Frazee, Minn., third grader who is being remembered for his love of basketball and compassion for others gave the gift of life Tuesday, March 10, at a Fargo hospital.
Ridge Scolley was playing basketball with his cousins over the weekend when he lost his balance and hit his head, according to family members. The 10-year-old boy was flown to Fargo for medical treatment, but doctors determined his brain would not recover.
On his 10th birthday, Ridge's family gathered outside Sanford Medical Center in Fargo to honor the boy who was about to live on through others through organ donation.
"Rather than him being able to receive gifts, he was able to give a gift to someone in need," said his aunt, Stacey Morris. "That is what Ridge would have wanted ... he was so considerate and so compassionate of other people, all the time."
Ridge's parents were overcome with grief as their son and daughter prepared to hoist the "donate life" flag — a sign that an organ transplant was happening inside the hospital. But the family could not be prouder of the boy they all loved. All agreed it was Ridge who was the first to comfort family during times of loss or crisis.
On Tuesday they celebrated memories of the boy they already miss, whether it was his love of basketball — Ridge dreamed of being an NBA player — or the way he showed affection for others.
"He loved to hug people ... all his friends, his teachers and family, he would give them all a side hug and love on everybody," said his uncle, Matt Morris.
Both Stacey and Matt agreed: Organ donation was the perfect way to honor their nephew.
"And we are going to miss him, and to do this on his birthday is incredible," Matt said.
Stacey Morris has organized a GoFundMe site for the family to help cover memorial and medical expenses.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, it had raised about $18,000 of its $60,000 goal. The fundraiser can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/scolley-family-memorial-fund-for-their-son-ridge