Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A Baltimore City police officer shot in the line of duty 25 years ago finds himself in another battle to survive. And just like before, the University of Maryland Medical Center and his fellow officers do everything to keep him alive.
Mary Bubala reports.
Gene Cassidy was shot on the streets of Baltimore in 1987. He was blinded, but that didn’t stop him from going back to school, getting his Masters at Hopkins and becoming an instructor at the police academy.
“What he did for a whole generation of police like me is give us a reason for why we put that badge on and go out on the city streets,” said Bob Cherry, FOP.
That’s why hundreds of officers lined up to become Cassidy’s living organ donor when they found out he needed a new liver.
Hepatitis C in a blood transfusion to save Cassidy was now killing him.
“His son stepped forward, his daughter stepped forward and then about the entire police force of the city of Baltimore stepped forward,” said Dr. John Lamattina, transplant surgeon.“They all just kept saying ‘I’m his brother, I’m his brother, I’m his brother, I’m his brother.’ How many brothers does this guy have? This guy has a thousand brothers.”
The University of Maryland Medical Center found a match for Cassidy within the ranks, but he was too sick for a living donor.
Half of a healthy donor’s liver wouldn’t be enough, so a full liver transplant was performed within days.
“It is miraculous. I have used that word so frequently. It’s unbelievable,” Cassidy said.
Now Cassidy is a big supporter of the Living Legacy Foundation.
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