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Editor's View: Fire chief recalls life-saving act

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Dan Haverty, Folsom’s fire chief, didn’t let his organ donation anniversary go by without some recognition. It was on April 1, 2005, that he donated part of his liver to Bishop William K. Weigand. “Five years ago at this time I was wheeled into the operating room at University of California, San Francisco, (as well as) the bishop,” Haverty told the Rotary Club of Historic Folsom at their April 1 meeting. He said the bishop was ill for years before the transplant and it was a newspaper article that gave him the notion to donate part of his liver. “The bishop was sick for 24 years,” he said. “He had gone through 50 different invasive procedures. He had suffered an awful lot.” Haverty didn’t know the bishop, but sat down and wrote him a letter after reading about his need for a liver transplant. He is still in contact with the bishop. “Last night my wife, the bishop and I celebrated our fifth anniversary and five (new) years of his life.” Haverty said it took about a year for him to feel like his old self but the bishop bounded back in no time. “After eight weeks, my liver grew back to about 90 percent,” he said. “The (morning after surgery), the bishop walked by my room and blessed me. He had a sparkle in his eye that had been missing for years.” He said because liver transplant recipients are sick for so long, they usually feel great very quickly. “I felt pretty sick,” Haverty said. To learn more about organ donation, visit donatelifecalifornia.org. The future of America Two local lads have been selected by the American Legion to take part in Boys State this summer. Ron Hawn, with the Legion, tells me the organization chose two high school juniors. Andrew Erickson is from Vista del Lago High School and Richard Clinton is from Casa Roble’s ROTC program. “These two are awesome kids,” Hawn said. “One of the requirements is they have to be juniors. We want them to take this experience back with them and be leaders in their schools.” The program “is a model state, complete with government bodies and elected public officials,” according to Hawn. Objectives of Boys State is to develop leadership and pride in American citizenship, around interest in the detailed study of government, develop an understanding of American traditions and loyalty to the good ol’ USA, as well as some other noble goals that are too long to list. The two teens will be in a weeklong program at California State University, Sacramento. Congratulations to the two lads. You do us proud. Time to play Expect to see dirt turning at the new Play For All Park at Folsom City Lions Park this Saturday and next. Members of the Rotary Club of Historic Folsom will be there with shovels and more to get things ready. The park is meant to allow able-bodied children to play alongside those who are disabled. The playground’s groundcover will allow for the use of wheelchairs and walkers. To learn more about the park, visit folsomplayforall.com. It is expected to officially open May 1. Don Chaddock can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com.