This is a very sad story. Condolences to the Arnold family, especially the young children who must grow up without knowing their father.
A Selfless Gift
www.keloland.comÂ |Â By Erich Schaffhauser | August 13, 2010, 10:04 PM
WATERTOWN, SD – It was a selfless act for a Watertown dentist and may have been one that saved his brother’s life and cost him his own.
Thirty-four-year-old Ryan Arnold died after donating part of his liver to his brother whose liver was failing.
“Ryan was an amazing father, husband, brother, friend. He had uncommon character,â€ Ryanâ€™s brother Rod said. â€œAnd the thing that Ryan did for his brother Chad in giving his liver to save his brother’s life made perfect sense if you know Ryan.”
Rod says even though there were risks, undergoing a procedure to save Chad’s life was actually a no-brainer for Ryan. Chad had liver disease; Ryan was a match.
“There were definitely moments of reflection but he kept saying, â€˜I know my brother would do this for me,â€™” Rod said.
But just a few days after donating part of his liver, Ryan’s heart stopped. He slipped into a coma and never came out of it.
“The surgery seemed to go well,” Rod said. “It was kind of a slow recovery. He was kind of out of it for a couple days and then Saturday he started feeling a little better. And unfortunately, Saturday night he had cardiac arrest.”
Flowers from Ryan’s funeral earlier this week still sit in his family’s Watertown church.
“It’s been a very difficult time for us,” Rod said. “But at the same time we are a family of faith; we have deep beliefs.
“We know that we’ll see him one day again in heaven. And so for us, we’re sad; we’re going to miss him. But we’re also hopeful.”
Ryan leaves behind a wife and three boys. One of them is six years old, the other is four and the youngest is one.
“They’ve got a great family and community that’s surrounding them and taking care of them and trying to be there for them. But obviously it’s not the same as having their dad,” Rod said.
It’s not the same for many others now either missing a son, a friend or a brother.
“I think the one thing that I just want people to really know is that Ryan was an amazing man, a man of uncommon character and love. And if he were here, the thing he’d want us to know is that came from his relationship with Christ and his faith. And everything he did in his life was an outpouring or overflowing of that. And that’s an encouragement for all of us,” Rod said.
Ryan’s brother who received the liver made it through the surgery and continues to recover.