(SALEM) - A Benefit for 56-year-old David Morrow will be held Saturday.
Morrow is on medical leave from his teaching position at East Washington Elementary School.
According to his nephew James Wyatt, Morrow recently underwent a heart and kidney transplant at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington Kentucky.
His wife Lisa says David will be in the ICU for at least two weeks, moving to a cardiac unit after that and then a nearby apartment for a few weeks and hopefully home for Christmas.
Linda Luedeman; principal at East Washington Middle School, where Morrow teaches fifth grade; says the one thing she most wants to stress about Morrow, who's taught for 34 years, is what an inspiration he is. The whole theme of our school this year is 'Believe in a healthier To-Morrow. That's also the theme of a benefit this Saturday, Nov. 10, 6-9 p.m. at the middle school cafeteria.
His wife of 32 years, Lisa, said following the seven to 12-hour surgery, David will be in ICU for at least two weeks, moving to a cardiac unit after that, then to a nearby apartment for a few more weeks. If all goes well, he will be home in time for Christmas.
The root of David Morrow's congestive heart failure will almost certainly forever remain a mystery.
"We don't really know what caused it," Wyatt said.
After he became ill six years ago, he had a defibrillator and pacemaker put in. He continued to work, but his health deteriorated and last spring his kidneys began to fail. Morrow wouldn't hear of taking sick leave.
"He just kept working, he didn't want to leave his students," Wyatt said. "His doctors wanted him to rest and get well, but he just kept going. He went to school every day and would go to New Albany three days a week for dialysis."
He's also a loving and devoted father to three sons, Ben, Josh and Seth, and a grandfather and a great uncle, Wyatt says.
"He's is a great person and loved by everyone," Wyatt says.
On May 31, Morrow was hospitalized and has remained at UK ever since. David Morrow is now on indefinite medical leave, but plans on returning to the classroom.
"I truly believe his care for his students is what's keeping him going," said Luedeman.
The family wants to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
"Signing the back of your driver's license is not enough, donors should discuss their wishes with their family and should register at www.givelife.org, Wyatt said.
95,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for organs and some die before they receive a transplant.
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