Regular readers of my blog are familiar with my theme…Second Takes. This is an account of two people who are now card-carrying members of the club.
The first is Tony Humble, a retired Norwood firefighter/paramedic. I met Tony and his wife Lisa many years ago through mutual friends of the Norwood firefighters. Yesterday, I received a Facebook update that Tony had successfully undergone a liver transplant. As surgeries go, transplants are about as touch-and-go as they come, but Lisa reported that Big Country came through like a champ. Here’s hoping he continues on a path of recovery and that he, Lisa and their family take full advantage of this Second Take.
Tony’s story is all too familiar to me. Like my father, Tony was a paramedic, and like my father, he worked during a time when safety precautions were much more lax than today’s standards for protection. Although he had several documented needle sticks while performing his duties as a paramedic, the powers that be (politicians and administrators who control disability benefits) have never determined that those incidents caused Tony to contract Hepatitis C. But somehow he did. And he has gone through hell, as a result. In recent years, his health has declined dramatically, which is why he made his way to the liver transplant list.
When you’re on a transplant list and the call comes, it’s time to move. So for Tony, it was off to the hospital and into a newly donated liver. Which brings me to the other newly certified member of the Second Takes club.
Unfortunately, that person goes nameless. But out there somewhere is a family who just lost a loved one…a loved one who signed up to be an organ donor. And because of that selfless decision, Tony and Lisa have hope for better days ahead.
The donor didn’t know that his or her time was up, but in donating life-saving organs to others in need, that person lives on as part of Tony Humble…Big Country…Lisa’s husband…my friend. Now that’s the ultimate Second Take.
Have you registered to be an organ and tissue donor? If you have, kudos to you and welcome to the Second Takes club! If you haven’t, visit organdonor.gov and do yourself, and someone else, the biggest favor one can do for another.
Good luck to you, Tony and Lisa! And thank you to that thoughtful stranger – that perfect match – who is now enjoying a very special Second Take.
April 24, 2015