Arlington Heights student honors late brother whose organs saved 4 lives

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- Taylor Petrillo lost his brother Matthew suddenly last fall. The 14-year-old is the youngest of seven children, and his brother was just 27 years old when he died.

Matthew had previously decided to become an organ donor and has already helped four people get a second chance at life.

"My brother is the best person you'll ever meet," Taylor said. "He's funny, smart, so nice, and he passed away in September this year and I just wanted to make a day to honor him."

Students at South Middle School were asked to wear green on Tuesday to support Taylor's mission to spread awareness for becoming an organ donor.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White made an appearance, along with his tumblers, to inform the students of the importance of being a donor.

For the first time, the 1,200 students at South Middle School had a "Green Out."

"We're supporting a good cause, but I feel like this has been a nice way to bring some positivity to a family that has had a difficult year," Principal Piper Boston said.

Matthew's organs changed the lives of four people forever. Each of the recipients have children or grandchildren, and his family says if he were here today he'd be proud of the young man Taylor is becoming.

"He's shown a lot of courage in the last few months, since he lost his brother," said Tony Petrillo, Taylor and Matthew's dad. "It's a pretty powerful statement for a 14-year-old, so I couldn't be more proud."
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