TRANSPLANT THANK-YOU TEACHER DONATES LIVER TISSUE TO FRIEND'S STEPSON.Byline: DENNIS McCARTHY Dennis McCarthy may refer to:
They're calling it the Miracle at Monroe High - a story of how teachers at this North Hills high school rallied around one of their own to help save the life of her adult stepson step·son
A spouse's son by a previous union.
a son of one's husband or wife by an earlier relationship
Noun 1. who was dying of liver disease Liver Disease Definition
Liver disease is a general term for any damage that reduces the functioning of the liver.
The liver is a large, solid organ located in the upper right-hand side of the abdomen. .
How one of those teachers, Sandra Gephart, sat her two young children down one night about a month ago and told them that mommy was going to give part of her liver to a man named Stephen because his was sick.
How her 4-year-old son, Noah, asked if that meant his mother's liver would get sick, too.
``No, it means Stephen's will get better,'' Sandra told her son.
``That's a good thing, mommy,'' Noah said.
Yes, it is. A very good thing.
Time was running out for 50-year-old Canoga Park attorney Stephen Schuster. Three liver transplants liver transplant Hepatic transplant Transplant surgery A procedure that replaces a cancer conquered, metabolically defeated, or substance subjugated liver with one no longer required by its owner, many of whom donate same after an MVA Diseases requiring transplant - two using tissue donated do·nate
v. do·nat·ed, do·nat·ing, do·nates
To present as a gift to a fund or cause; contribute.
To make a contribution to a fund or cause. by family members - had already failed.
The chances of finding another donor from the people he knew were so bleak, he decided in October to reach out to strangers - and took out a classified ad in the Daily News.
``Be a hero,'' it read. ``I need someone to share their liver for a transplant. Must be O positive or negative. Please call Steve.''
Sixteen people called him. They all wanted to help, including Christy chris·ty
Variant of christie. Walden, the woman who took the ad at the Daily News. She talked about it with her kids, but they wouldn't let her do it.
Only two people actually went ahead with the testing, but their tissue wasn't compatible.
The Schuster family was at its wits' end when Eleanor Schuster, Stephen's stepmother and the culinary cu·li·nar·y
Of or relating to a kitchen or to cookery.
[Latin culn arts teacher at Monroe, went to the bulletin board in the teachers lounge, and laid her family's private agony agony,
n severe pain or extreme suffering.
1. death struggle.
2. extreme suffering. bare.
``That memo asking for help rallied the whole school behind her,'' said Monroe High Principal Greg Vallone. ``It touched all of us, and most of our teachers went in to give blood for Stephen and be tested, some even twice.''
But only one, social sciences teacher Sandra Gephart, would make it all the way through the lengthy and extensive testing process.
Ironically, the young teacher Eleanor had taken under her wing eight years ago when Sandra arrived at Monroe to be the school's special-education teacher - the teacher in the room across the hall who would become her best friend - was now the only person at the school who could save her stepson's life.
``I told her, 'Sandy, you're a young mother with two young children. This is asking too much. I don't want to take their mommy away from them,''' Eleanor said.
``I did everything to dissuade TO DISSUADE, crim. law. To induce a person not to do an act.
2. To dissuade a witness from giving evidence against a person indicted, is an indictable offence at common law. Hawk. B. 1, c. 2 1, s. 1 5. her, but she went through all the excruciating tests for donors, both mental and physical.''
As a mother, she didn't have any choice, Sandra said.
``Being a mom, I understand. If one of my children needed an operation - and I don't care
"Don't Care" is a 1994 (see 1994 in music) single by American death metal band Obituary. if they were 5 or 55 - I would pray someone would step forward and do this.
``I always tell my students that the world is what you make it,'' Sandra said. ``If you want it to be a generous place, you should lead a generous life.
``Stephen has a young daughter, and she deserves to have her father growing up.''
They all met at Mimi's Cafe's Northridge location last week, a week before the operation.
Noah and his 2-year-old brother, Zak, got to meet the man their mother was going to help make better.
Stephen's family, including his half-sister, Marlene, and her husband, Bob Foss - both of whom had already been through failed transplant operations for Stephen - got to meet Sandra and her family.
They didn't talk much about the upcoming operation. They talked instead about their families, and how their friends and co-workers were rallying around them.
Eleanor related how her co-workers were donating their unused sick time to Sandra so she wouldn't lose any pay while she was recuperating.
Sandra told them how the teachers were also taking turns bringing over dinner for her kids every night while she was undergoing the testing.
``I think my family wants me to donate another organ so they can keep the good food coming,'' she said.
Stephen understood. His brother-in-law, Bob, and some of his other attorney friends were filling in for him in court, and not a day went by that a family member or friend didn't call, offering to shop or run errands for his family.
When it was time to finally go, they all hugged - Stephen and Sandra a little longer than the others.
She's not a superstitious su·per·sti·tious
1. Inclined to believe in superstition.
2. Of, characterized by, or proceeding from superstition.
su person, Sandra says. But when she saw the penny lying on the hospital floor Dec. 9, the morning of the operation, she did a double-take.
It was heads up - a good sign.
``My dad collects old pennies, and this one was a 1953 with the wheat on the back,'' she said Wednesday, still recuperating at her Northridge home after being released from the hospital Sunday a Sunday set apart for simultaneous contribution in churches to hospitals; as, the London Hospital Sunday.
See also: Hospital .
``I felt like it was a penny from heaven, a good sign from the people in my family that everything was going to be OK.
``Before I went into the operating room operating room
n. Abbr. OR
A room equipped for performing surgical operations. , I gave it to my dad, who was in the waiting room. I told him to give it to Stephen just before he went in for his operation.
``Tell him it's our lucky penny from heaven,'' Sandra told her dad.
The lucky penny from heaven is on the nightstand night·stand
See night table. next to his hospital bed, Stephen said Wednesday by phone from his room at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
The operation went well, the doctors said, and he's hoping to be home before Christmas.
``For Sandy to do what she did for me, put herself through all that pain, well, it's still pretty amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. ,'' he said.
``I lie here sometimes, thinking about what she said the first time we met and I asked her why she was doing this.
``She told me, if you want to live in a good world, you have to do good things,'' he said.
And, like 4-year-old Noah said, his mommy did a real good thing.
(1 -- color) Monroe High School For other uses, see James Monroe High School.
Monroe High School may refer to:
Gus Ruelas/Staff Photographer
(2 -- color) SCHUSTER