Family fights to bring ashes of young son, Xander, home after donating boy's organs

Posted at 10:09 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 00:09:54-04

Ask anyone who knew him, 10-year-old Xander Korpela burst with life. Despite being diagnosed with asthma at age two, Xander was a breath of fresh air to his friends and family.

He enjoyed cracking jokes even if they weren't funny, playing sports, and above all he looked up to his big brother Devon.

"He was always joking about something. There was always jokes and laughter. His smile was contagious," said Xander's sister Kyra Naillon.

Then in June that smile that lit up every room went dark. Xander suffered an asthma attack. As usual he used his inhaler.

"Then he wanted a drink so he got his orange soda and took a big drink. Then there was a look in his eyes where you knew something was wrong," explained Xander's mother Mary Korpela. "I just remember looking at him going 'Devon lets go'".

Knowing the gravity of the attack, his panicking mother and brother raced to the car with Xander speeding toward the emergency room.

Petrified, Devon sitting in the backseat with Xander tried to keep his composure while encouraging his brother to keep breathing.

Then, in an instant Xander's eyes rolled into the back of his head and he began to loose conciseness.

"I started CPR and I started breathing for him and he came back and he looked straight at me. I was like you've got to breath, don't give up. I said to him say you won't give up and those were the last words i heard him say was I won't give up," said Xander's brother Devon.

Arriving at the hospital in Fruitland Devon tore out of the car sprinting with his dying brother in his arms.

"He just started running and I mean he didn't stop at the receptionist he just kept going," said Mary.

Screaming for help, doctors rushed in but Xander's deteriorating condition required an air ambulance to Boise.

"You are sitting there and you're watching all of these people work on your child and you're helpless. You don't know what is going to happen," said Mary.

Once the family finally got to see Xander he was a shell of himself. He was covered in wires and tubes laying motionless.

Then when the family met with doctors they too were left breathless.

"I remember them telling me that he was over 90 percent brain dead," cried Mary.

Grief stricken and unsure of what to do next, the family prayed.

Then on Father's Day, a son, a brother, and a friend was gone.

"He made a choice for us so we didn't have to. He decided that it was his time to go," said Devon.

While Xander is no longer with his family, other families are staying together thanks to him donating his organs.

"It's just another day that God has planned for someone else," said Devon.

Xander's liver and right kidney went to two women in their early 40's. His left kidney was donated to a man in his 30's and Xander's heart went to another grade school boy.

"When I read that i cried," said Mary.

Still grieving, hospital bills soon overflowed the mailbox.

"We are a pretty low income family and we don't have all the money in the world. The money we do have goes to exactly what we need," said Devon.

The unexpected costs of losing a child have overwhelmed the family.

Xander, who lives on in the lives of others has yet to have a memorial service.

Worse yet, agonizing months have passed and Xander is sitting in a box in a crematorium until the family can afford to have his ashes released.

"Once we are able to do his memorial and his service, I know it's going to take a lot of the pain off of us because we know he is if finally getting the peace he deserves.

For a kid full of life and who gave the gift of life, the family only hopes Xander's story ends the way it began. with a smile.

For those who would like to help the Korpela family CLICK HERE.