The family of the victim in the Pasadena hit-and-run crash donates his heart to a friend.
11:30 PM, May 5, 2013
11:46 AM, May 6, 2013
PASADENA, Md. - Blood is pumping, feet are turning, sweat is dripping, and hearts are pounding.
They are supportive hearts, to help a family thrown off the saddle the past three weeks, and sad hearts longing for 15-year-old
Younger brother Sam is spinning the pedals.
"All three of my boys rode bicycles with Kyle," said Michael Marion, Skylar's dad.
The story begins on the bike where Skylar bonded with Kyle Wilkerson, who is also 15 and from Pasadena.
Skylar was hit by a driver on Mountain Rd. three weeks ago and rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Kyle was fighting for his life at the same hospital.
"He went into heart failure in February, and there was no getting him out of heart failure without medicine or a transplant," said Denise Wilkerson, Kyle's mom.
"I went in and talked to Skylar, of course he couldn't speak, and I just asked him. But I got a feeling across me that it was okay," said Marion.
Okay to donate his son's body. What the two parents never knew is they were in the same hospital helping their sons stay alive.
Skylar was on life support and his dad was forced to make a decision. One day after he died, Kyle got a chance to live through a heart transplant at the University of Maryland. But it's bittersweet.
"I'd rather my son still be waiting for a heart and Skylar still be here, you know. It's just hard," said Wilkerson.
The parents learned about their connection after the surgery.
There's another part of the story, the one that keeps police busy looking for a Ford Expedition that is at least 10 years old. Anne Arundel County police say the driver left the scene on busy Mountain Rd.
"You're still breathing. You're still walking. Come forward and just accept what's going to come," said Marion.
Skylar's dad drives around with a billboard showing the car, and an electronic one is parked on Fort Smallwood Rd. Big Vanilla Athletic Club organized the heart pounding event to raise money for the Marion family.
In the end, there is one heart that will forever connect two families.
"The devil took Skylar away from me and God wanted to spread him around," said Marion.
Marion says he donated his son's entire body. A 65-year-old man got his lungs and two adults got both kidneys. Kyle is going to rehab and the goal is to get him back to school.
Also, the family says the reward to find the hit and run driver has doubled thanks to donations. You could get up $4,000 if you have information that leads to an arrest.