This is my son, seven-year old Nicholas Green, of Bodega Bay, California, who was shot in an attempted carjacking in Italy while we were driving on the main road south from Naples on a family vacation. My wife, Maggie, and I donated his organs and corneas, which went to seven very sick Italians, four them teenagers. Two of the seven were going blind, all the others could have died at any time. In the next ten years, organ donation rates in Italy, which were then just about the lowest in Europe, tripled – a rate of increase no other country came close to – so that thousands of people are alive who would have died. All around the world his story brought people’s attention to the acute shortage of donated organs and became known as ‘The Nicholas Effect.’
Within days of Nicholas being killed, Italian communities of all sizes, from some of the largest cities to small villages began to talk about naming places for him. Twenty-one years later, 121 have been identified: streets, schools, parks, squares, and one bridge, all over Italy.