Frenship Coach Returns After Emergency Transplant Surgery - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/13/03

Frenship Coach Returns After Emergency Transplant Surgery

Coach Curtis returned to the football field just six weeks after getting a new liver. The coach won't be officially released by Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas until September 4th. But, he managed to sneak back to Lubbock for a couple of days.

Frenship Freshman Football Coach and Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach Jimmy Curtis is now back in the game, and already barking out orders. This after being sidelined for most of the summer. "I feel good. I've lost 35 pounds, but I'm getting stronger and feeling better every day." Coach Curtis is recovering from liver transplant surgery. "July 4th. My new birthday," says Curtis.

Curtis' liver started to fail last spring. He found out it was failing after trying to donate blood. "UBS sent me a letter that said I needed to go see my physician because my liver enzymes weren't normal. By the end of baseball season, I couldn't eat anything," says Coach Curtis.

Three days later, Coach Curtis was in Dallas, in desperate need of a transplant. In late June, they got word of a match. But, that liver had too much fat. On July 4th, a perfect match from a 57-year-old donor. "There's some guys that have been in there since Easter. Just the luck of the draw," says Coach Curtis.

Now, Coach Curtis is on the road to recovery. His family, friends and the community were able to raise more than $50,000 for his medical expenses. Good thing. Baylor is one of the top two premiere liver transplant facilities in the nation. Patients must have $200,000 to get in. Coach Curtis says he only made it thanks to you. "I feel very fortunate. All the prayers definitely made a difference."

The cause of Coach Curtis' liver damage isn't known, but doctor's speculate it may have been caused by herbal supplements. In particular, Licorice and Fenugreek. But, that's unconfirmed and unscientific. Curtis was taking the supplements for sinus and digestive problems.

Curtis received the 2,070th liver transplant at Baylor. His long-term prognosis is good.

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