YOUNG HERO. Ezra Jacob Rosario, 3, is regarded as the Philippines' youngest organ donor. After a drowning incident, Ezra's parents donated his kidneys and eyes to different institutions. (Contributed)

LAOAG CITY – Three-year-old Ezra Jacob Rosario will continue to live and be remembered beyond his death, after his parents decided to donate his organs and tissues so that others may live.

The young boy figured in a drowning incident just a day after the church wedding of his parents, who were visiting the Philippines from the United States. Ezra was rushed to the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Metro Manila but despite numerous attempts to revive him, he was pronounced “brain dead.”

Coming from a family of doctors, his family decided to donate his two kidneys which were transplanted to a 24-year-old recipient. His corneas, meanwhile, have been banked at the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines.

In a statement, the Human Organ Preservation Effort (HOPE) of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) hailed Ezra as the country’s youngest organ donor so far and thanked his family’s generosity despite the loss of a loved one.

"We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of our young hero and our heartfelt appreciation for their brave decision. Thank you for your generosity to help others despite the painful loss. May God bless your kind hearts all throughout this lifetime,” the NKTI said on Facebook.

In a public Facebook post, Ezra’s mother, Jennae, said, “This is the legacy we can give to our child, so he lives on in the lives of others through sacrifice and the gift of generosity.”

Jennae said his son, who has a twin brother named Elijah, will be remembered as "a fighter, a brave, strong, kind, generous boy who fought his hardest battle and ultimately won through his generosity and love.”

In a separate interview, Ezra's grandfather, Dr. Medeldorf Gaoat, who is also a provincial board member of Ilocos Norte, said it was an “honor” to have a grandson who died as a young hero.

While no one was to blame for the accident, the provincial board member said he will be initiating safety measures to ensure that swimming pools, especially those that flow into rivers and beaches, are properly guarded to avoid similar incident in the future.

As of this posting, Ezra’s remains lie at the Gaoat family house in Barangay Ben-agan, Batac City in Ilocos Norte province until Nov. 19. His body will be cremated so that his family could bring his ashes back to the United States. (PNA)