Mich. fire Lt. donates liver to colleague
Comstock Township Fire and Rescue Lt. Doug McLiechey and Capt. Dale Beauchamp are both recovering after an “uneventful” surgery
By FireRescue1 Staff
COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A fire lieutenant helped save his colleagues life by giving him his liver.
FOX17 reported that Comstock Township Fire and Rescue Capt. Dale Beauchamp was told in November that his liver was failing and he would soon need a transplant.
“My wife and I were kind of at a loss,” Beauchamp said.
Beauchamp gave the liver transplant information from his doctor to his children, who created flyers and handed them out in search of a donor.
Beauchamp’s colleague, Lt. Doug McLiechey, saw a Facebook post posted by Beauchamp’s daughter Nicole.
“I was on Facebook actually and his daughter had posted a pamphlet about the live liver donor process,” McLiechey said. “So I contacted her and [said], ‘Where do I sign up?’”
McLiechey didn’t yet know if he was a match, but knew he wanted to help his boss.
“We’re very close,” he said. “Most firemen are but this department we’re pretty close with each other. So it wasn’t really a question.”
McLiechey found out he was a match, but instead of telling him, he worked with Nicole to start the transplant process.
“I assumed Dale was going to be [like], ‘Nope, you’re not doing it,’” McLiechey said. “‘Nope. You can’t take that much time off,' or, 'It’s too dangerous.' So Nicole and I talked back and forth [and] made contact with [the University of Michigan Ann Arbor].”
McLiechey spent a day undergoing medical evaluations before he told Beauchamp he was a match.
“It’s emotional for sure,” he said. “Once I see him and then I kind of tear up a little bit. But I don’t think of it as important as he does obviously. I’m just honored to help.”
The firefighters underwent surgery and are both recovering and doing well, according to FOX17.
“The surgeon said the surgery was ‘uneventful’ and they both did great,” a CFR Facebook post said.
“Without him I know where I’d end up going,” Beauchamp said. “But he saved my life. He’s my hero.”
The Comstock Firefighters Association launched a fundraiser to help Beauchamp and McLiechey with hospital bills not covered by insurance. Click here for more information.