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Meet Jack

 

Jack Salas was born on September 11, 2007 to Fred and Jessica Salas.  Jack passed away on February 3, 2018 at the age of 10. He was a young boy who was selfless, athletic, smart, loving and caring.

 

Jack was raised in earnest, with love, appreciation, gratitude, empathy, kindness, humor and a respect for others that was unmatched by anyone you have ever met. When you met Jack from just over the age of 4, he would look you in the eye, shake your hand and smile. That was simplicity at its best and that was Jack.  Human contact, confidence and warmth for anyone who crossed his path. He made us proud.

 

Jack loved playing football, reading, skate boarding, video games, swimming, going to school, slot car racing and always having a lot of fun.

 

Jack attended Murphy Ranch Elementary until the 4th grade where he met many of his closest friends and received many awards for his academic excellence. The school on the one-year anniversary of Jack's passing, installed 2 commercial grade steel rubber coated benches in front of his 4th grade classroom with the words "Live Like Jack" which will stand proudly for many years to come. His classmates came up with this slogan of professing how to live life to the fullest and treat everyone with kindness.

Jack from an early age was excited about everything and that excitement never waned. He was especially excited about ordering his toys online and asking daddy daily when they would arrive. He wanted to know how things worked. Why people behaved the way they did and how come some many people in Los Angeles lived on the street. We would drive as a family downtown and we would show him where the homeless lived and ask him, “Do you want to live here?” He would say “No!” We would say, “Well then, you better get good grades and go to school every day, so you won’t end up here.” He got it. Immediately. He was wired. So much so that in school he consistently brought home the grades and honors that exceeds most parent’s expectations. Jessica’s unrelenting effort at making sure Jack’s homework was done, that he was prepared for school every day, lunches made, teeth brushed, bathed and ready to get after it daily was truly amazing.

Jack was interested in doing what was right, not who was right. He was good, he was smart, he was witty and had a great sense of humor.  In fact, in January of 2018, his final month alive, he was reading more books than Jessica and Fred combined. He grew up hearing daddy tell him over and over again, “All Leaders Are Readers.” He really took it to heart.  That’s who he was. We are proud of what we did with our son...God’s son. 

Jack loved many sports, but his favorite was football. From the time he could walk, during a televised game when a team would line up for a field goal or extra point, Jack would line up as the kicker in front of the screen and as soon as the ball was snapped, he would emulate the kicker in the game, go through the motion and pretend to kick the ball. He did it all the time. It was awesome. In the past couple of years, Jack matured into a pretty solid receiver with La Mirada Flag Football. I believe one of the greatest pleasures any father can experience is watching their son score touchdowns, and Jack scored a lot. He dreamed of playing in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. I always used to tell him, “Jack! My NFL kicker! I too shared in his dream.

When it came to music Jack was moved by many artists and many songs. He lipsynced countless songs in the back seat of my car as well as Jessica’s.  I would catch him out of the corner of my eye in the review mirror on many occasions. It always made me smile. From the Beatles to the rock group Kiss, Queen, Tears for Fears, Bon Jovi, The Police, Bruno Mars, Linkin Park, The Killers, Imagine Dragons and a special place for Frank Sinatra.

If Jack were an adult, one might say he was a man’s man. Jessica and I believed he would have a great impact on the world and would be a man of influence and benevolence as he grew older. Although he was a ten-year-old boy, we knew we had someone special on our hands.  Of course, we had no clue that God would want him back so soon.

So, we were blessed with this little angel for just over 10 years, who brightened our lives and it’s obvious to Jessica, Jeffrey, Hanah and myself and to everyone that knew him, that he meant so much and touched the lives of many.

I rarely missed a night putting him to bed and saying our prayers. That was our life together at bedtime. Of course, The Lord’s Prayer and a lot of Hail Mary’s, but it was the personal prayers which had the most positive effect on Jack. I would ask, The Lord to keep us safe, happy, healthy and wealthy in spirit and prosperity and do God’s will and God’s good work and help those who cannot help themselves.  Jack got it. He ate it up. He knew in his heart this is the right course...God's course. The last thing I did before turning off the lights each night, I would lean down and whisper in his ear, “Daddy Loves Jack…”, he always responded, “Jack Loves Daddy.”

On the late morning of February 1, 2018, Jack suffered an extreme asthma attack, he could not breathe and passed out in the family living room, Jack's heart had stopped as well. Jessica and I attempted to resuscitate him waiting on the first responders, minutes later they arrived and whisked him off to St. Jude's Hospital in Fullerton. The experts there got Jack's heart beating again after it had stopped 32 minutes prior, Jack's breathing was now aided by machine. Jack was then transferred to Children's Hospital of Orange County. Mommy and Daddy stayed with him bedside for the first 3 days praying for a miracle.

We did not get that miracle, what we received instead was dozens of other miracles. 

 

The doctor informed us that Jack would not be coming back to us that first afternoon. We stayed positive and continued praying as Jack hosted visitor after visitor at his bedside. During the time from February 1-5, 2018, hundreds of us were able to start the healing process, while Jack lied in his hospital bed on a respirator helping him breathe at CHOC. The intensive care unit and McDonald's Family room there was consistently packed with friends and family.  

Jack was declared deceased by the State of California on Saturday, February 3, at 3:23 p.m. It was earlier on this day that Jessica and I made the decision to have Jack become an organ donor. Jack's body was kept alive and in the same state as when he arrived. Jack continued to help family and friends as they paid their respects visiting him, lying next to him, whispering secrets in his ear and talking to him until the final goodbye came on the evening of February 5th.

That night at 9:30pm, mommy, daddy, brother and sister said their final goodbye’s and within an hour of us leaving him, Jack in one of his final selfless acts, saved the life of another child with one of his organs...with more children to follow. That is a miracle! One of many that Jack was and will be responsible for. Jack lives on! Not only in the recipients who were beneficiaries of his life saving organs, but Jack’s spirit lives on in me, my wife, his brother Jeffrey, his sister Hanah and in every one of you. That is how Jack Lived. God bless you all!

Live Like Jack Accomplishments

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Live Like Jack Golf Tournament History and OneLegacy

On September 9, 2019, The Inaugural Live Like Jack Golf Tournament took place and was a huge success raising money for OneLegacy.  The permanent home of the Live Like Jack Golf Tournament is the Prestigious Friendly Hills Country Club in Whittier, California.  

OneLegacy is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the seven-county greater Los Angeles area. With more than 215 hospitals, 11 transplant centers and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world.

To date, Jack has saved 5 lives with his organ and tissue donations.   Our goal is to save many more lives with organ donor awareness through OneLegacy.

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Pavewest Mangan Family Foundation

On December 28, 2020, The Pavewest Mangan Family Foundation, lead by Don and Dick Mangan, made a $5,000.00 endowment to the Live Like Jack Foundation. We are grateful and will continue to do good work...God's work.

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Live Like Jack Bench Dedication

On February 1, 2019, this day marking the 1-year anniversary of Jack's passing, Murphy Ranch Elementary School unveiled two "Live Like Jack" Benches right outside Jack's 4th Grade Classroom. Jack's 4th Grade Teacher Debbie Dominguez was instrumental in making these beautiful monuments to Jack's Legacy possible. These benches will serve the students at Murphy Ranch for many years to come. The Salas Family was overwhelmed by this tremendous gift and are extremely grateful.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

“Jack enjoyed golfing with his father and brother. Late Sunday afternoons were typically earmarked for practice on the green and squeezing in a few holes.”