Former Bishop of Salt Lake Diocese Receives Liver Transplant

Former Bishop of Salt Lake Diocese Receives Liver Transplant

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Carole Mikita reporting A California firefighter recently stepped forward to offer part of his liver to a Catholic bishop. That bishop, it turns out, has a long-time connection to Utah.

Bishop William Weigand was the head of the Salt Lake Diocese for 14 years before his assignment in Sacramento. Dan Haverty says it was a simple act of faith. He simply wanted to help the Bishop.

William Weigand is now the leader of half a million Catholics in Northern California. Dan Haverty is a firefighter and spokesman for Sacramento Metro Fire. The two, in one sense, are now one.

William Weigand, Bishop Sacramento Diocese: "Thank you, Dan and Terri, for your generosity, for your selflessness, for giving me a new lease on life."

William Weigand served as Bishop of the Salt Lake Diocese for 14 years. He was very active and involved then. But he has suffered with this rare, progressive liver disease for 24 years now.

Now Assistant Fire Chief Dan Haverty donated two-thirds of his liver so the bishop can survive.

Dan Haverty, liver donor: "Terri and I look at this as a tremendous opportunity and one that is spiritually led."

Members of the diocese, the Havertys had not met the bishop.

Dan Haverty: "I admire him, I respect him as my bishop, and I am now calling him my friend."

There are risks for Haverty, doctors say a 30% chance of complications.

Terri Haverty, wife of donor: "When I first heard about it, I kind of looked at him like, 'You did what?'"

He admits to having second thoughts one sleepless night.

Dan: "I got down on my knees and I asked for some help and I received it. I had a sense of calm came over me, had a glass of warm milk and went back to bed."

The bishop is grateful for such a selfless act from a man who like him is also in the business of saving lives.

Bishop Weigand: "I'll be forever and eternally indebted to you."

The two men say it was more than a miracle of modern medical technology. The prognosis for both is good.

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