A Fleetwood Middle School teacher got the ultimate Christmas gift one year ago.
Jim Fry was in desperate need of a heart and liver transplant. Now this Christmas, he is fully recovered and counting his blessings.
Fry took to the basketball court with his 9- and 12-year-old sons on Tuesday. It is something many fathers do with their sons, but for Fry it means so much more because he was not able to do those types of physical activities for the last 20 plus years after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition.
"Just being able to do the things that a typical 40-year-old father can do with his wife around the house, with his boys, going on a bike ride, playing basketball, playing tennis. It has been an unbelievable year for us," Fry said.
But it was a long journey to get there. Fry found out he needed a heart and liver transplant last August. After several months of testing, he was put on the transplant list. On Christmas Eve, he got the call. The doctors had a match. Jim went through the 13-hour surgery on Christmas Day last year.
"As soon as I was awake and knew what was going on, I could feel an immediate difference," said Fry.
Fry regained his energy and the color of his skin. Now a year later, he and his family are counting their blessings.
"This year has been incredible. This whole past year, every day is like a gift to us," said Fry.
And they are most grateful for that organ donor.
"We would love more people to just be aware that organ donation is just a great opportunity for people to give back when they lose loved ones," said Fry.