Through organ donations, SoCal firefighter continues to save lives even after his death

Marc Cota-Robles Image
Thursday, July 20, 2023
SoCal firefighter continues to save lives even after death
"Zachary's purpose in life was to give no matter what," said the mother of Zachary Gregson, who was able to save three others with his gift of life.

OXNARD, Calif. (KABC) -- A Southern California firefighter continues to save lives, even after his death.

The story of Zachary Gregson reminds us of the importance of organ donations. Two years ago, Gregson was involved in a motorcycle accident on the Pacific Coast Highway while he was off duty.

"He was 22 years old, a very outgoing, active outdoors boy," said his mother, Erica Gregson. "He was struck by a driver and suffered some significant injuries."

Gregson died in the hospital. It was there that his parents were reminded that their son was an organ donor.

OneLegacy, a nationally known organ procurement organization, gave Gregson's family the option of direct allocation, which allowed the family to gift the firefighter's organs to someone they knew.

Gregson was a part of a wildland hand crew for the Ventura County Fire Department and his father is a retired police sergeant.

The family immediately thought of their police and fire family.

"Being able to be a donor and providing a new life for people he was able to donate to, that's just part of who Zachary was," said his father, Michael Gregson.

Three people ended up receiving Gregson's gift, including his father's longtime co-worker and Oxnard police officer Bakari Myers, who was in need of a kidney.

"I didn't know where I would be today if not for the surgery," said Myers. "I was on a waiting list, but for the area I'm in, in California, they said I could expect to wait 10 years."

Gregson always gave great gifts, according to his mother, so this experience has been fitting.

"Zachary's purpose in life was to give no matter what that meant. I think the gift of life he gave was his purpose," she said.