A 'Walking Dead' Stuntman's Death Is Highlighting The Importance Of Organ Donation

"My heart is absolutely broken for John Bernecker."

Over the weekend, Walking Dead fans and crew mourned John Bernecker, a stuntman who passed away after an accident on the Georgia set of the AMC zombie series.

Bernecker, who was 33, reportedly suffered a head injury after falling more than 20 feet from a balcony onto a concrete floor. According to Variety, he was taken to Atlanta Medical Center and placed on a ventilator, which was turned off on Thursday. AMC announced it was temporarily halting production after the incident.


"John Bernecker's family has decided that he will be removed from life support, following organ donation," AMC said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened by this loss and our hearts and prayers are with John's family, friends and colleagues during this extremely difficult time."

Bernecker worked as a stunt performer on dozens of films and television series, including Logan, Get Out, several Hunger Games movies, and 24: Legacy — as well as upcoming projects such as Black Panther.

Those involved with the Walking Dead, and others who had worked with Bernecker, shared their sadness and condolences on Twitter following his death.

It's important to recognize the good that will come out of this terrible tragedy, as Bernecker's organs will be donated. Such a decision can make an incredible impact, as the United Network for Organ Sharing reports that 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant, while one organ donor can save eight lives.

The LifeLink Foundation, a nonprofit that is "dedicated to the recovery of life-saving and life-enhancing organs and tissue for transplantation therapy," shared a statement about Bernecker on behalf of his family.

"Although devastated by their loss, John's loved ones have ensured his legacy will live on, not only through the personal and professional contributions he made during his life, but also by their generous decision to allow John to save lives as an organ donor," the organization posted. "John will touch countless others as the family members, friends and communities of those who receive his organs will be forever impacted by the memories and milestones made possible thanks to a second chance at life."

If you'd like to become an organ donor, you can learn more here.


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