OKLAHOMA CITY – For Ted Wilson, everyday is a gift.
Cirrhosis of the liver was quietly taking his life.
A transplant was his only hope for survival
Wilson confided in his friend Keith Bryan, the former Nichols Hills fire chief.
Bryan pledged, “If anything ever happens to me, I want you to have my liver.”
Ted never imagined those words would resonate just six months later.
Wilson said, “Keith is a super guy. It shouldn’t have happened. I’m 2 years older than I should be and it’s because of him.”
On Sept. 20, 2011, Chief Bryan lost his life, and in return, saved the life of his friend.
Ted Wilson was among the first to arrive at Integris Baptist after Bryan had been shot in the head.
Machines were keeping Keith alive, while his family made the difficult decision to donate his organs and give Ted his liver.
Wilson told us, “There’s always that realization that hits. If we are going to donate his organs, we want to honor his wish.”
Within hours, Ted was in surgery.
Surgeons say he cheated death by a matter of weeks.
According to Wilson, “The doctor came out and told my wife that my liver had deteriorated. And they said within two weeks I would have been so sick that even if I had Keith’s liver, they wouldn’t have put it in me. A week or two later, I would have been dead. Literally, he saved my life.”
Ted Wilson has asked to see Becky Brian in prison.
He’d like to meet with his friend’s wife and killer.
So far, his requests have gone unanswered.
He said, “I would say thank you to her because she honored his wish.”
Keith Bryan will be remembered as a fire fighter, public servant and a life-saver.
Like the ripples in a pond, the work of one man can spread out and touch the lives of so many others.
Life Share CEO Jeff Orlowski said, “The thing about donation, that helps in their healing, in a time that they have no control and they are going through a tremendous loss, they have the ability to save people’s lives and to know that their loved one lives on through the gift they’ve given to other people.”
And Teddy Wilson will not waste his precious gift, albeit bittersweet.
He said, “I know God saved my life for a purpose. And that purpose has been taking care of other people. My responsibility to Keith is to keep doing what God called me to do. In my opinion, that’s why God spared my life. Otherwise, we’d both be in the ground right now. It’s an absolute privilege to carry him as part of my life. He’s such a precious guy. It’s an honor.”