MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The death of West Virginia University freshman Nolan Burch shocked the campus and left a huge scar with his family.
They invited Channel 11's Lisa Sylvester to their home outside of Buffalo so they could share their loss and how they are keeping their son's legacy alive.
"It’s a nightmare. You see it on TV. You read about it. You never think you’re going to live it. Never," his mother Kimberly Burch said.
The night of Nov. 12, Nolan Burch, 18, went into cardiac arrest at a hospital in Morgantown.
His mother heard the phone ringing just after midnight.
“That was the worst phone call I got in my entire life. Awful,” she recounted.
Nolan was found unconscious at his fraternity house.
Police said he took part in initiation function where he was blindfolded and presented with a large bottle of alcohol.
Investigators later said his blood alcohol level was six times the legal limit.
Two days later Nolan died.
While the family can't talk about the police investigation, his dad T.J. said they are doing their best to move forward
“He’s just a good kid, so I miss everything,” his dad said while fighting back tears.
Nolan was their only son and best friend to his younger sister.
His life is captured in dozens of pictures that the family shared with Channel 11.
What eases their pain now is a decision they made in the hospital.
“It’s bittersweet, I guess to say,” his dad said. .
Nolan's parents donated his organs to four people, including a college student, a female pilot and a man who is the caretaker of his grandchildren.
They likely wouldn't be alive today.
Now Kimberly Burch wears her son's class ring.
She is thankful for what her son was able to do even in death.
“Nolan would be happy,” she said. “He would be proud that he did something to save other people. That was Nolan.”
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