Whitesburg KY

Citizens asked to wear blue in honor of late organ donor

Letcher County residents are being asked to wear the color blue August 18 (Thursday) to honor the memory of the late Jake Lucas, a Thornton resident who was killed in a car crash nearly four years ago.

Hannah Lucas, the younger sister of Jake, said she is continuing the tradition of having August 18 be the “wear blue day for Jake” in an effort to keep “trying to make something good out of tragedy.”

Jacob Mitchell Lucas, who became an organ donor in death, was only 21 years old when he died August 18, 2013, two days after he was he was critically injured in an accident on the Hal Rogers Parkway near Manchester. Lucas was returning home from work when he rounded a blind curve and hit an old tow truck that had stopped in traffic.

Because Jake had signed up as an organ donor when he got his driver’s license at age 16, his family was able to request that his heart be donated to then-25-yearold Ariana Summer, a Perry County woman who was being treated for an often-fatal heart disease at the University of Kentucky hospital in Lexington, the same place where Jake had fought for his life. At least five other people also received organs donated by Jake.

Because of Jake’s unselfishness, the Letcher Fiscal Court named August 18 as Jake Lucas Day in 2014, after which family members asked that Letcher County residents wear blue on the day in honor of Jake’s favorite color. The family continues to maintain the tradition in an effort of persuade others to sign up as organ donors.

“Tomorrow marks three years since my brother’s accident and Thursday is the day we lost him,” Hannah Lucas said in a posting on Facebook. “… we love and miss him so much.”

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