Fire Department Chaplain Receives Liver From Murdered Chief

Thursday, September 22nd 2011, 9:33 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – Murdered Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan's family requested his liver be donated to one of his closest friends, the Oklahoma City fire department's chaplain. Thursday, that wish became a reality.

Ted Wilson went into surgery at 10 a.m. and got out at 4:15 p.m. Doctors at Integris said the six-hour surgery was a success.

After a decade of waiting, Wilson got word that a liver was waiting following the death of his friend.

Lifeshare is the donor organization that helped make it happen.

"If a donor family knows someone, a specific recipient that is waiting for a transplant, it could either be a relative, a co-worker, or someone they barely know, they are allowed to direct a donation to that person," said Phil Van Stavern of Lifeshare.

He said that often a donated organ comes from someone who has died a violent death.

In this case, Chief Bryan was shot and killed in his home, but because he was on a taken to the hospital and put on a ventilator, he was able to be a donor.

"Donation has to occur, in most cases, when someone has suffered a brain death while on a ventilator," Van Stavern said. "If those [conditions] are not met, then they will not be organ donors."

Wilson's family is grieving the loss of Chief Bryan and says this is his opportunity to live out the chief's legacy as a hero.

"The fact that it came from his friend, Chief Bryan, is really something that will be meaningful for both families from now on," Van Stavern said.

Wilson was slated to stay in ICU overnight and be moved to a regular room on Friday or Saturday. Doctors expected him to be discharged within a week if all goes well.