Person of the Week: Tim Saylor, double lung and heart transplant - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Person of the Week: Tim Saylor, double lung and heart transplant recipient

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VIENNA TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (05/02/14) - A Mid-Michigan man, who has lived five years after a double lung and heart transplant, will renew his vows Saturday with his wife of 25 years. The pastor who will officiate the ceremony is the father of the young man who died and donated his organs.

Tim Saylor was born with a hole in his heart.

"It wasn't until my 30s that I started having issues with shortness of breath," Saylor said.

Things grew progressively worse. Near Christmas 2008, a doctor in Nashville gave him bad news.

"He said, 'Buddy, I'm sorry to tell you, but you need to get your affairs in order,'" Saylor said.

He needed a double lung and heart transplant. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic weren't optimistic, but in June 2009, the organs became available and the surgery only took five hours.

In February 2010, Saylor began communicating with the donor family.

"The first letter I got from the Sommers family indicated that their son, T.J. was 29 years old and he had died playing the game he loved, softball," Saylor said.

T.J. died from head trauma after a collision with a second baseman.

The two families met at a restaurant in Ohio. T.J.'s mother, Mary, had one request.

"And she says, 'Can I feel your heartbeat?' And I said, 'Yes, absolutely.' We have a photo of her actually putting her hand on my chest and feeling her son's heartbeat," Saylor said.

The two families have grown very close. The renewal of the vows ceremony will take place May 3 at the Clio Country Club. Pastor Tim Sommers, T.J.'s father, will officiate.

For more information on organ donations, click here.
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