Family of teen in frat death pushes for organ donation

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The family of Nolan Burch, an 18-year-old Williamsville native who died at a frat house at West Virginia University, are pushing for others to sign up to be organ donors.

Burch's parents, TJ and Kim, say donating their sons organs after he passed away gave them comfort. Burch’s father described the family’s feelings, saying it helps to know his son will live on.

“You know that their lives are going to go on and you know they’re going to touch other people's lives,” he said.

Burch, a Canisius High School grad, was found unresponsive at the Kappa Sigma frat house at WVU. He died a short time later and a subsequent autopsy revealed he had a BAC of .49 percent, more than six times the legal limit.

His family is planning a lawsuit.

Burch's parents spoke at an event where Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs and UNYTS announced a significant increase to New York’s organ donor registry.

A campaign set out to increase donors by 22,000 was launched during National Donate Life Month last year. Jacobs said they had signed up 22,109 donors.

The campaign involved designating one employee at each auto bureau location to be the “Organ Donation Ambassador” and a series of public service announces. According to UNYTS, 80 percent of donors register at their local auto bureau.

UNYTS statistics show more than 100,000 people throughout the country need a lifesaving organ transplant and 800 are in Erie County

Erie County will keep its model in place and hopes it will spread statewide.

Print this article Back to Top