Michigan man gets second chance at life after battling chronic illness

Donors helped save his life

By Frank McGeorge, MD - Medical Expert

BLOOMFIELD, Mich. - A Bloomfield man spent more than two decades battling fatigue and the constant threat of illness. Now, he has a new lease on life thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Steve Sack was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and ulcerative colitis just after he graduated from college. He was listed on the transplant list, but no liver was available.

"For years and years everything was OK. They monitored me, but then probably, about five or six years ago things took a pretty bad turn for the worse. The liver started to deteriorate," he said. "I did end up having to have two blood transfusions because I had become so anemic."

His daughter volunteered to be a living donor and give her father a part of her liver, but unfortunately, Sack became too ill to receive a liver from a living donor.

"I became the highest on the transplant list and once that hit, within three days, I was fortunate enough to have an organ become available," he said.

Sack needed more donated blood during the surgery.

"There's probably at least 10 to 12 different people who donated blood to make that possible," he said.

After undergoing two colon surgeries as well, Sack is finally on the road to a healthier life.

"I've been able to watch my daughter become a third-grade teacher, which is a lifelong dream of hers. I'll be able to see my two sons graduate from high school and from college this spring," he said.

After everything he's been through, Sack said he feels like he's in his 20s again and he's grateful beyond words to all those donors who helped make it possible.

The Red Cross said there is an emergency need for donations, in particular Type O blood.

Blood drives are being held Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Gardner-White stores in the following areas

  • Auburn Hills
  • Macomb Township
  • Canton
  • Taylor
  • Warren
  • Waterford
  • Novi

Blood drives will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. at the Brighton location.

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