WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - On a day when many are gifting flowers, chocolate and candy, others are giving the gift of life.
Bruce Zotz started to experience dizziness, fatigue and rapid weight gain a few years ago.
He later learned he would need a liver transplant. A diagnosis he tried to keep to himself.
“It’s kind of hard to explain. There was just so much going on with me," Bruce Zotz said.
He knew soon he would have to get his name on the national waiting list.
“How they determine how you get put on the transport list goes by the MELD score,” Bruce Zotz said.
In Texas alone, almost 12,000 people are on the waiting list for a life-saving transplant.
“They gave me all this information and I kind of held back I’m one of those people," said Bruce Zotz. “I don’t like to ask for a lot. I really didn’t feel like I wanted to put anyone out. So, during that time, I put on there on Facebook and figured that I’d just put it out there. So, I gave them the number to call if they wanted to be a living donor.”
He says he was humbled by the number of people who offered to help, but then he got an even bigger surprise.
“And I didn’t even know that my brother Jeff here, done it yet until somebody says Well, what do you need to do? I was going to reply to, and he replied, oh, this is what I did. He had already done it. And I was really surprised about that,” Bruce Zotz said.
But for Jeff, it was a no brainer.
“You know, at the time, I was single, no kids, I had less to lose," Jeff Zotz said. "So, for me to go through the program compared to other siblings, other people in the world, it just made more sense that I will be the one to do it and being younger, in better shape back then too.”
“Yes, they definitely gave me a second chance of life," Bruce Zotz said. “They made me look at things a little different because of that donation now I’m back into society. I’m not laying on the couch just slowly wilting away. I’ll be able to be a father to my little girl.”