ROCHESTER, Minn. – A Dilworth, Minn., man says he's been given a second chance at life. Not only that, Randy Myers is part of an historic liver transplant at Mayo Clinic.
It involves three livers and three men, all very much alive.
Just days after Myers' low-functioning, diseased liver was removed and surgeons gave him new life with a different liver, the Dilworth man sat with family at the Gift of Life Transplant House near Mayo Clinic.
The last few days have been a rollercoaster life ride. Myers' new liver came from a donor who got his liver from a friend.
"Just an act of God. That is all I can say," Myers said.
That miracle Myers is talking about is called a domino transplant, involving three men, all living.
"When they told me I could domino, I thought, 'You are kidding.' If we can help someone else, let's do it," said John McWilliams, who both received and donated a liver.
The story started in Houston, Texas with McWilliams, a popular high school football coach. A rare genetic disease was making him ill and he needed a liver transplant, so his friend and newly-married assistant coach Matt Beeler, stepped up.
"Biggest thing is, why not? Finding out I have the chance to change someone's life, save someone's life," Beeler said.
"My wife and I looked at each other and we thought, 'Wait a minute. This guy is getting rid of his liver, why are they putting it in me?'" Myers said.
"I am honored to do it, and when I realized the domino impact, someone would receive coach's liver, it made it more rewarding and more worth the process of doing it," Beeler said.
While McWilliam's liver didn’t work inside him, it would be just fine in someone else. Someone like Myers.
"Can't imagine, can't explain it. One of those predestined things. It wasn't in our hands. We didn't plan it," McWilliams said.
Three men. Three livers. One donor. Two recipients.
"I could not be happier to share the gift of life with two people," Beeler said.
Myers' family has been by his side, and they say it's been tough. Myers' daughter Brandi Myers-Rostad, a nurse in Fargo, knew the gravity of a failing liver.
"I knew this was not good," Myers-Rostad said.
She also knew the emotional odds of waiting for a new one.
"It is amazing. Just going from how sick he was to almost losing him, and now getting your dad back. It is a miracle," Myers-Rostad said.
April is organ donation awareness month, and Mayo Clinic celebrated the victories of life with a march to Gift Of Life House, where both Myers and McWilliams are staying.