Oct 21, 2016
In August of 1984, Steve contracted a virus that he couldn’t shake. He went to see a doctor and was admitted to the hospital. He was given morphine to slow his heart to evaluate his health. Unfortunately, the morphine caused a reaction and he went into cardiac arrest. He was eventually given a diagnosis of idiopathic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. That near death experience affected him and he felt drawn to help others. Already being a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church, he went on to be a police chaplain for West Valley PD in Utah, and he continued serving others even though he was dealing with a terminal illness himself.
In 1996, his doctor determined there was nothing else that could be done for his heart so he was put on the transplant list. It was very challenging for his family to want so badly for him to receive a heart, and yet knowing that it meant someone else would die. Seven weeks after being placed on the transplant list, he received a call that there was a heart and he was a match; did he want it? He actually hesitated knowing that life would change and he didn’t know what it would be like. He did say yes, and the surgery went well. He was told that when they removed his old heart it was determined that he might have lived 3-4 more days; it was barely functioning. Recovery was hard, but over time, he regained his strength and went on to have 15 more years of life. In that time, he saw the last of his children married and gained 8 more grandchildren. He had numerous holidays, vacations, and simple times spent with his family. He lived long enough that all the grandchildren who were born have at least a few memories of him