Football coach makes lifesaving donation to fellow coach

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A local coach is making the play of the year -- he's donating part of his liver to his fellow coach (KTRK)

The bond among coaches in high school sports is as strong as the ones between their players. That bond prompted a local football coach to step up when his fellow coach needed a liver transplant.

In life, Coach Mack faces a battle of his own, a fatal hereditary disease.

"It's a bad protein that's produced in the liver," said Coach McWilliams.

Those proteins damage organs and nerves. Without a new liver Coach Mack would likely have only three to five years left to live. He turned to his fellow coaches for help.

"I got up and said, 'Hey guys, I need a new liver. I need a portion of somebody's liver. If anyone has type O blood, you know, anybody wants to donate, I'd be more than happy to take it,'" said Coach McWilliams.

Coach Matthew Beeler was in that room. When he heard the question he knew how he wanted to respond.

"There's not a better man out there, not a more deserving man out there for me to do this for," said Coach Beeler.

Beeler has Type O blood. Doctors determined he's eligible to donate sixty three percent of his liver to Mack.

"I'm just thankful that he had come to work for us. There must have been some higher, you know, being there that sent that young man this way," McWilliams said.

The rest of the student body and faculty are helping raise money for medical expenses. Mack is sporting one of the new T-shirts they're selling, Rams helping Rams.

"We teach and coach for a reason, and it's because we have this innate desire to help people. And how do you pass up the opportunity to do something great."

On Thursday, both coaches will go into surgery.

"I'm here. I'm willing and I'm ready," said Coach Beeler.

They're facing it as a team.

And even though Coach Mack's liver produces that bad protein he is still able to donate it to someone else saving another life. On the football field Coach John McWilliams encourages his Cy Ridge Rams never to give up even when things aren't going their way.
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