THE grieving parents of a ‘selfless’ young dad who has donated his organs to save others say their hearts are ‘exploding with pride’.
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to Aaron Smith known to his friends and family as AJ after he died following a road accident last week.
AJ, 25, was taken to hospital last Wednesday following a collision involving a silver Toyota Yaris and grey Honda motorcycle on Park Road, Worsbrough.
He died a day later and his family honoured his wishes for his organs to be used.
Parents Andy and Jayne Smith, of Hawshaw Lane, Hoyland, told the Chronicle he was the ‘most amazing son’ and the outpouring of support they have received since his death has been ‘overwhelming’.
In a joint statement, they told the Chronicle: “Ever since AJ was small he was very self-confident and would always look after his cousins and friends. He was not scared by anything. He was a thrillseeker and always up for a challenge.
“AJ was the type of person who would try and help anyone he could as soon as he was asked.
“He was caring, loving, joyful and had the kindest soul.
“Even at 12 years old, AJ thought of others.
“We were at Bridlington for the day and, when we got in the car to come home, AJ saw a homeless man and asked his dad to reverse, he jumped out of the car and gave the man his last £5. This was our glorious son.”
AJ had been on the organ donor register for a few years and his parents say his selflessness has left their hearts ‘exploding with pride’.
“A few years ago, AJ wanted a word with us and told us he wanted to be an organ donor when anything happened to him,” they said.
“His dad and I said he should do whatever he thought was right and we would stand by him.
“From then on, AJ carried a donor card in his wallet.
“It wasn’t until the hospital talked to us after the accident that we found out that he had renewed all the details this year and listed what he wanted to donate.
“This just goes to show what a selfless young man we raised.
“We were always so proud of our wonderful son but hearing all about this and talking to the hospital made both our hearts feel like they were going to explode with the pride we feel for him now.”
A fundraiser has been set up by AJ’s friends and his parents said they have been ‘overwhelmed’ with the response.
“We have been amazed by the great outpouring of love and affection and kind words from everyone, even strangers,” they added.
“We are learning just how many people AJ actually helped in one way or another.
“Because of this it is really helping his dad and myself knowing how people thought of him and still do. He touched so many people’s lives in his short life.
“We have been really touched by the number of people who have already responded and we will never be able to thank them enough.”
The pair have also issued their thanks to the doctors, nurses and members of the public who stopped to help him.
He leaves behind his pets, his parents and his eight-year-old son Ollie.
“He was such a big part of the family and always will be,” they added.