Family of Utah Boy, 14, Killed in Tragic ATV Accident Finds 'Comfort' in Knowing He Lives On as Organ Donor

Raquel Dastrup

“As soon as his mom and dad were told there was no brain activity they knew that Roper would be organ donor,” his aunt tells Inside Edition Digital..

The family of a Utah teen who died in a tragic ATV accident last month has found comfort in knowing he will live on in others as they made the decision to donate his organs.

Roper Bagley, 14, was with his brother and cousin helping their grandfather check to see if their cows had given birth to any calves in April when the ATV he was on flipped, pinning him underneath the vehicle. The teen went a substantial time without oxygen after the crash, his Raquel Dastrup tells Inside Edition Digital. 

Roper's mother, Lizzie Fisher Walters, and his aunt, Bridget Sursa, were eventually able to get the ATV off of him and while waiting for emergency responders, Lizzie performed CPR on her son, Dastrup says.  

He was then rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital. “He was life flighted to Primary’s directly from the accident sight, where they watched for brain swelling and brain activity for three days,” she says.

Roper died three days after his accident from a lack of oxygen to his brain. 

Following the teenager’s tragic passing, his parents, Lizzie Walters and Shay Bagley, decided to donate his organs.  

“As soon as his mom and dad were told there was no brain activity, they knew that Roper would be organ donor,” Dastrup says. “Lizzie felt strongly that Roper was telling her that was what he wanted. Even in death, Roper continues to give.”

His aunt remembers him fondly, saying that from the moment he was born, she knew her nephew was something special.

“Roper Shay Bagley came into this world on Feb. 18, 2009, weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces. He was a miracle baby from the very beginning. Roper was born five-and-a-half years after his dad was in a work accident, where he suffered a traumatic brain injury that made him wheelchair bound. Those that knew Roper loved him,” Dastrup tells Inside Edition Digital.

“He loved playing outside. Anytime the door opened he was trying to make his escape. Roper has always been giving and never been selfish,” she adds.

Dastrup says her nephew wanted to join the Air Force and also wanted to be a rancher, just like his mother and grandfather. He enjoyed hearing cows, and recently had been talking about working to make extra money so he could buy a truck when he turned 16.

“(He) wanted his own cow herd and had already designed his own brand. He had purchased his first cow last fall and got his first calf this spring. He was excited about his growing herd," she says. 

Roper's heart, heart valves, lungs, kidneys, liver and eyes were all harvested.

"It has been a very hard and long week,” Dastrup says. "Roper was taken from us way too soon. We find comfort in knowing the Roper lives on in those who he has helped. We know that we will see Roper again and be able to wrap him in our arms.  Until then we feel him in everything we do.

“Knowing that his big giving heart is still giving, that his eyes are still twinkly, brings me joy.”

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