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Walter family remembers hero son for tissue donation awareness month

Posted on April 6, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith


With April being Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Month, the Walter family remembers their son, Beau Richard Elias Walter and how he lives on with the people whose lives were saved or improved by their decision to donate.

Called Bobo by friends and BEAUski by family, the 22 year old passed away in August 2022 after losing control of his vehicle on a gravel road. But Beau’s memory remains as he was, a bright and warm young man who had an adventurous life. 

“He was truly kind and was always willing to help when needed. Beau always greeted everyone with a smile on his face and gave the biggest hugs. Everyone wanted to hang out with him and be his friend,” said Carrah Walter, Beau’s mother.

Beau, who hails from Pincher Creek and was living in Redcliff at the time he passed away, loved the outdoors, said Walter; he grew up on a farm and enjoyed doing anything outside. Working with cattle, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing or dirt biking. 

“He was up for anything, willing to try anything. He liked to hang out with his cousins and friends, strapping on a pair of skates with his hockey playing cousins to play out on the outdoor rink,” said Walter. “Growing up he played Elite Baseball and was the high school quarterback on the football team. Beau travelled the Alberta Rodeo Circuit with his family and cousins when he was younger, Wild Pony Racing.”

He was always off having adventures, recalls Walter, but was sure to make time for those who loved him, which extended to almost everyone he met. This generosity is part of what made the decision to donate his tissues, even at such a difficult time, relatively straightforward.

“It wasn’t a hard decision at all. We were given time to think about it but once we saw the monitors going down, we knew it was time,” said Walter. “Once we found out that Beau was a universal donor, it just made sense. We thought about the other families praying for a miracle for their loved one and how we would feel if we were in that situation, hoping for a positive match to save our loved one’s life. Beau was going to be their miracle. Our hero.”

Beau’s liver was transplanted as a last hope for a young man, but unfortunately, he succumbed to his disease, and Beau’s right cornea was given to a 45-year-old and left cornea to a 47-year-old. 

Four other individuals benefited from transplanted bone and cartilage. Their ages range from 26 to 56 years old,” said Walter. His skin is getting ready to be transplanted to a burn victim, and more of his cartilage is getting ready for a knee surgery. Tissues can be stored for up to five years before having to be discarded, so the family look forward to each and every update that they receive.

“One day, we hope to meet them in person,” said Walter. “To hear how their lives have changed is amazing and we are so happy for them and their families to be able to continue to make memories. We think of them often with a big smile as Beau is living on.”

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