As a family mourns the loss of a 13-year old boy from Beeville who was accidentally shot while target practicing with cousins, they find comfort that the tragedy brought life to others.
The last two years of 13-year old Andy Cardenas' life were his happiest.
"I prayed for this little boy when I knew he was in the hands of his father," said Armando Gonzalez, Andy's adoptive father. "He was having it rough. Real skinny."
Armando and Janie Gonzalez saved Andy from becoming a ward of the state. Andy's mother passed away when he was five years old, and his father was deported.
"He got put in our hands, and we took him in like he was ours, and if anything, my kids would live with my ex and her kids with her ex, and he was with us every single day, and he just brought joy to us," Armando Gonzalez said. "We were together for years before he came around. He made our life, so much, so much better."
After the accident, Armando and Janie made the decision that Andy should live on by giving the gift of life.
"It could have happened any which way, but it was God's call for him to go," Armando said. "I think he was sent to us, instead of us to him, and he did his job in fixing us. And now, I think that's why we decided to donate."
The folks at Trevino Funeral Home and the Southwest Transplant Alliance said that three children and a 65-year old man are alive today because of Andy's organ donations. In fact, Andy's heart now beats in a seven-year old child.
"And we kept wishing it, that whoever got his heart was going to deserve it, and we found out that a seven-year old little boy got his heart," Armando said. "He was 13, and he would act like he was seven because he missed out on a lot of his young years."
The Gonzalez family said there is another message from Andy's untimely passing.
"I plan to open up a firing range and teach safety to a bunch of kids that are out there because a lot of things can happen so quick when you don't have the knowledge of what to do," Armando said. "The safety."
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