Andy Furr started riding dirt bikes at the age of 11 and never looked back. By 18-years-old, Furr has his first street cruiser and loved being on the open road.
“What appealed to me was the freedom of riding and the ability to see everything when I was on a bike,” said Furr, who lives in Grove City, Ohio.
That freedom was compromised on July 1, 2006 when Furr, dedicated husband and father to three, was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Immediately, Furr wondered if he would need a transplant.
His situation became progressively worse, causing nausea and discomfort, preventing him from performing well in his management job at a petroleum company. “My staff started to find me in a daze and talking gibberish to customers,” said Furr. At that time, he had to move his secretary into his office to keep an eye on him. By September of the next year Furr had to resign from his job.
“Over the next three months I was in the hospital 37 times,” said Furr. Doctors worked with Furr to get him stable enough for transplant and on February 7, 2008 – he joined nearly 100,000 other Americans on the National Transplant Waiting list.
“The doctors said they were giving me three weeks and I would have to start dialysis. If we waited much longer, it was possible I’d need a kidney transplant in addition to a liver transplant,” said Furr. “I hoped a liver would be available before my kidneys shut down. I waited and hoped.” Just two weeks later, he got ‘the call’ and had his transplant.
“After the transplant I felt fantastic. I had never felt better,” said Furr. “I was up after three days and home in just two weeks.”
Thanks to his donor, Furr received a second chance at life and the opportunity to live on and ride on. “I am extremely grateful for this gift,” he said. Furr has sent letters to the donor family to express his gratitude for their generosity.
By the summer of 2008, Furr was healthy enough to get back on his bike, a Honda VTX 1800. Being able to experience the freedom of a bike, after spending years in hospital beds, was just what Furr needed!
Today, Furr is a Donate Life Ambassador and advocates for organ and tissue donation all over the state. He encourages other bikers to register and works to dispel myths.
He said, “The number one concern Americans have about donating is that a doctor might ‘let them go’ if they’re a registered donor. I’m living proof that that’s not true! When I was in and out of the hospital I was in combative states of dementia. I would kick, spit and bite. I was a registered donor and they could have easily let me go, but they didn’t.”
Andy Furr is living proof of the impact organ donors can have. You can Live On. Ride On. as an organ and tissue donor. Sign up today in the Ohio donor registry.One Comment »