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article imageNew Jersey's Tom Bestwick donates gift of sight to his blind son

By Nancy Houser     Nov 22, 2012 in Health
Quinton - As a registered organ donor, when New Jersey’s Tom Bestwick was killed at age 56 on July 17, 2012, little did his legally blind son realize that he would soon be seeing with his father’s donated cornea after the deadly vehicle/motorcycle accident.
A few days after Tom Bestwick's death, his organs and tissue were donated to those who needed them most. This would include his son,Tom Bestwick, Jr., who had lost his left eye when he was 7-years-old.
The young boy's eye was damaged in 1987 around Thanksgiving, when Tom and his brother Paul were swinging on a giant elastic Bungee cord --- stretching it and seeing how far it would go. The ABC News Radio online posted, "It flung back and caught me in my left eye. I went blind instantly," said Tom. "Everything happened so fast. It didn't even hurt."
According to ABC, Tom Bestwick’s son, Tom, said, “his father was the type of person who'd give anyone anything. He donated his time to many causes. For the past 15 years, he volunteered as an Eagle Master with the Boy Scouts, and with his mother, delivered meals for Meals on Wheels. He always tried to give back. There was a time when I literally saw him give someone the shirt off his back."
From 1974 until 1980, Bestwick was enlisted was a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps until he received an Honorable Discharge, working as a hydraulics mechanic servicing planes. After he left the service, he turned into a "jack of all trades," working as an electrician, a licensed pipe fitter, and would eventually run a farm with his son, Tom.
"We were inseparable," said Tom, now 32, in the ABC article.
Tom Bestwick's obituary would show just how caring of a man he was throughout his life:
* Facilities Manager of the Diocese of Camden, St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in Carney’s Point,
* Was a current member of the USMVMC (United States Military Vets MC) as FTO (Field Training Officer).
* Was a current member of the American Legion Post #297of Pennsville NJ where he rose through the ranks to become Commander on both the local and State Levels.
* Tom was involved with Boys State and for 10 years he cooked and delivered Turkey dinners for the homebound via the Visiting Nurse Association of Salem County before transferring to Smyrna Delaware, Post# 14 several years ago.
* Was a current member of the 40 and 8 an elite part of the American Legion open by invitation only.
* Was a member of the VFW Post # 8840 Penns Grove N.J.
* He was a member of the Pennsville Moose Lodge #2376 where he was key in setting up and the running of the Turkey Shoots, Toys for Tots, the Tommie Moose Program, and many others.
* At the time of Tom's death he was in the process of setting up an overnight Boy Scout camp out to teach an NRA safety Gun safety course, for a turkey shoot, for the boys to take part in; he was a qualified NRA Instructor.
* He was involved with Flag Decommissioning Ceremonies, did many color guard duties, helped raise money for Autism,’ and ‘Semper Fido”( a program that adopts and trains dogs to help returning vets cope with PTSD and other various physical and mental problems.
* He was a proactive blood donor.
Thomas Bestwick died from injuries sustained in an accident.
Thomas Bestwick died from injuries sustained in an accident.
Handout / Bestwick Family
According to the Ashcraft Funeral Homes, Tom Bestwick was a member of the ‘Gift of Life “program and was able to fulfill his wish to be an organ donor. At his death, he was able to donate his 2 kidneys (of which 2 recipients received that night successfully ), his liver, and various soft tissue and bone, so many others may live.
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