ARP, Texas (KETK) – Every 10 minutes a person is added to the waiting list for an organ transplant. One man from Arp has found himself on that list twice, currently waiting for that life-saving phone call. Again.
“It’s not repairable and it’s just getting worse,” Dustin Nichols describing his liver. “This last bout had done the final damage to it.”
Nichols is in need of a liver transplant. It’s the same position he was in when he was seven years old. He was born with a rare liver disease called biliary atresia.
“He was just as yellow as could be,” his mother describing him as a baby.
He had the official diagnosis at just six weeks old.
“I’m very proud, he’s never let his illness throughout all these years ever keep him down,” Linda Tanner, mom, said. “Never has he used that as an excuse to get out of anything.”
When Nichols received his first liver at seven years old, he contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion needed for the procedure. That was in 1987.
“Back then you couldn’t cure it and they didn’t test for it,” Nichols explained.
The infection weakened the liver he was given, and he now needs a new one to save his life. The insurance will cover everything for the procedure except for the procurement.
The family needs $20,000 to cover the costs.
Now family, friends, and neighbors are banding together.
“Whether he knew it or not we were looking out for Dustin,” a family friend said.
The Arp community is asking for the support of the whole East Texas community as they prepare to host a benefit at the high school this weekend.
Through generosity, and prayer, this family says they will be ready when the phone call comes.
The benefit is Saturday, February 22, at Arp High School. There will be a live band, a raffle, bake sale, bounce houses, and more. It is all free to attend and any donations will go toward the Nichols family.
If you can’t make it out to the benefit but would still like to help this East Texan, you can go to their GoFundMe page here.