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Tom Awad is a liver transplant recipient. His journey from detecting his illness to his recovery, simply put, is a miracle.
As a father of four, a husband of 35 years to Carol and a retired General Motors employee of 31 years, he was ready to settle down to a relaxing retirement while enjoying his family, friends and grandchildren. A serious illness was the furthest thing from his mind. At this point he had no way of knowing how badly his liver was failing while extreme fatigue crept into his daily routine. The dangerous toxins created by liver failure rapidly caused bloating and weight gain. At the insistence of their family doctor, Tom and Carol took the journey to London’s University Hospital for a routine liver function assessment. Well, that would be the last time he would use routine in his vocabulary for some time. Upon receiving the last results, he was immediately admitted and put on a high priority of the liver transplant waiting list. After one month of waiting, agonizing discomfort, hallucinating and sometimes wishing it would end, Tom and Carol received the miracle call we were all praying for.
A caring compassionate family donated the organs of a loved one who tragically died. Tom received his liver, but postoperative complications, an episode of kidney failure, major infections, ongoing and stubborn breathing difficulties extended his stay in the hospital to three months. His family knew that 95 per cent of liver organ transplant recipients go on to live a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle, but sadly enough it appeared that Tom was going to be one of the fatal five per cent. Three long agonizing months went by while Tom fought for his life, which hung in the balance. Miraculously the tide turned and Tom’s bodily functions started to respond. Fourteen weeks from the time he entered the hospital, Tom happily went home. As a faithful Christian and churchgoer, Tom acknowledges that a higher power took over and decided his fate.
Tom then made a commitment to give something back, not only to pay tribute to his donor’s family, but also to try and create more awareness for organ and tissue transplantation.
Two years later, after numerous walk/run events to raise awareness, he and friends Bob Fahringer and Moe Boismier, decided to organize a slow pitch tournament to raise funds and more awareness for Windsor Organ Transplant, a natural recipient for the funds. After two meetings they decided a tournament wasn’t enough, thus began a new non-profit organization named Sport Fest Windsor ’05.
This group now consists of over 100 dedicated volunteers planning annual sporting, entertainment and cultural events designed to raise awareness and funds for Windsor Organ Transplant. For more information, please contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org