Nelson had donated bone marrow in January after it was discovered via blood he donated in 1996 he was a ideal match for a 14-year-old boy in France, according to a story in the Westfield High School student newspaper Hi's Eye. His bone marrow went to a 14-year-old boy in France. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve for more than two decades, including a stint in the Middle East, according to Westfield Public Schools. InsideEdition.com's Mara Montalbano has more. "His eyes were open and he realised who we were".
Within a day, the doctors had come up with a new plan, which involved putting him under a local anesthetic that would allow him them to monitor his breathing while they extracted his bone marrow, he said.
Nelson's family kept vigil at his bedside for more than a month after he slipped into the coma.
Since 2017, Nelson served as principal of Westfield High, where he previously acted as the vice principal since 2010.
Without any hesitation, the educator said it was worth going through the procedure to give a little boy years of happiness.
"I just always remember him with a smile on his face at the games and he was very energetic", said Emma Roth, 17, a junior at Westfield.
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In Westfield, a suburban community located less than 30 miles from Manhattan, the beloved principal's untimely death inspired an outpouring of tributes this week from students, community members and state leaders.
Oster said the district's immediate focus is on supporting students and staff, following Dr. Nelson's passing. "I had not been in contact with him recently".
"We deeply appreciate Derrick's willingness to step forward to donate, and we share our sympathies and condolences with his family", said Dr. C. Randal Mills, CEO of Be the Match.
Westfield, New Jersey, Mayor Shelley Brindle also released a statement mourning Nelson's death.
"This is a tremendous loss for our community, and I know that our children, and we as parents, will struggle with coming to terms with this over the coming days and weeks", Brindle said on Facebook.
'He was a man of huge character and kindness, and his legacy will live on in the generations of students whose lives he touched'.