A Panama City Beach teen is just two weeks from his 16th birthday when his life is tragically cut short after being killed by a drunk driver in 2009. A parents greatest fear becomes a reality and a brother's biggest struggle becomes losing his younger sibling.
The Smith family is outgoing and loving and never feels the need to stray too far from one another. But the death of Taylor brought that life to a tragic halt. Life after their loss becomes what Laura Smith calls survival. A foggy time perspective that sometimes feels like yesterday to Shawn Smith but forever since the last time he held the gaze of his youngest son.
The years that follow are filled with memorials ceremonies and appearances in hopes of keeping Taylor's memory alive. Taylor would have graduated from Arnold High School this past May. A scholarship awarded in his name was given to his childhood friend and teammate Jacob Willard. Taylor also received an honorary diploma on graduation day.
"How did you adjust after that in not only keeping Taylor alive but keeping each other alive?"
"I don't know that you really do adjust," said Shawn Smith. "I don't know what the right word is. You kind of just take one step at a time and tomorrow is tomorrow. That's probably the best I can do and continue to move forward. Wherever that is."
Helping them forward in their journey is the gift of life. The Gift of Life Part 2 takes a look at how the Smith family decides to donate Taylor's organs and how that decision brings new life to the recipients and Taylor's memory.