DENVER (KDVR) — High school senior Tommy McClure got good news Wednesday from Dr. Tom Heffron, his liver transplant surgeon at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver.
“He’s doing really good,” Dr. Heffron said.
The 18-year-old from Kansas had his life upended in late February after competing at the state wrestling tournament.
“We thought that he was just dehydrated because he was sleeping a lot,” said Tommy’s mom, Chantel McClure.
His family took him to the emergency room, and then he was transferred to PSL in Denver with acute liver failure, a diagnosis that was shocking to his mother.
“He’s a healthy 18-year-old high school wrestler, and it’s just unheard of,” Chantel said.
Doctors don’t know the exact cause of the failure.
“He was taking some seizure medicines, and these could contribute to it,” Dr. Heffron said. But they did know he needed a liver transplant quickly in order to survive.
“We placed him on the liver transplant list at the highest priority,” Dr. Heffron said.
Three days later a liver became available, and Tommy got his transplant.
“It means a lot. I’m glad I was able to get one and get one quickly and that I’m still here,” he said. Tommy is doing well, and his family is grateful.
“It really does save lives being an organ donor,” Chantel said.
Now she hopes others will take a moment to register as organ donors on their driver’s licenses. April is National Donate Life Month.