"Sometimes you can't say thank you enough," says Tim Hayward as he takes his daily walks down the halls of Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. He calls them therapeutic. His co workers provided him strength when his liver stopped working. One employee said, "He's a walking miracle. Just look at him."
Hayward had been on the waiting list for a new liver for a year and a half. Four months ago, on the brink of death Hayward's only chance for life was to be in Houston so that if and when a liver would arrive he would be there and waiting. Hayward recalled, "When we first got down there they were speaking of hospice and not thinking I would be make it too long." That night through LifeGift a liver became available. Out of 7,000 people in the state of Texas needing a liver Hayward was the sickest and was selected for the transplant. Hayward said, "I've got a new birthday because I got a new liver and a new lease on life, another opportunity."
Now Hayward is wanting to increase awareness about organ donation. So does his doctor, Dr. David Duke. "We have made special structural changes how we work from the ER and throughout the hospital and community because it's important to not just this man, but maybe to your family one day," said Duke. Hayward added, "In Nacogdoches a fair amount of organ donation takes place, but we still see missed opportunities."
Over twenty five years in medicine Hayward always knew the benefits of organ transplants, but now it's truly personal. "It is a gift. I do feel blessed."