Emotional post-surgery video helps Scout spread awareness about organ donation

Trevor-Sullivan-2Trevor Sullivan gives new meaning to the phrase “A Scout is brave.”

He was your typical teen, interested in school, band, sports, church, University of Michigan football and Boy Scouts. That is, he was typical until Feb. 13, 2015, when his world came crashing down around him.

Trevor, then 14, wasn’t feeling well. At first his parents thought it was a cold, but when it got worse they took him to the emergency room. That’s when he was diagnosed with severe heart failure.

In the months that followed, his heart grew in size to the point that it “lay heavily down on his lungs,” Trevor’s dad, Philip, told CNN.

The wait for an organ donor lasted exactly nine months. On Nov. 13, 2015, after an outpouring of community support, Trevor got his new heart.

Philip had his camera recording when Trevor woke up from surgery. That emotional video, which you can watch below, captures the dramatic first moments of Trevor’s new life.

“I’m so happy,” Trevor said, his eyes still closed and his chest covered with monitors. “I’ve been waiting so long.” 

“I can breathe again. And talk,” Trevor continued.

Philip and Trevor shared the video for a reason. The youngster has made it his mission to spread awareness about the power of organ donation.

Turns out this Boy Scout isn’t just brave. He’s also helpful, cheerful and kind.

The message is reaching far and wide. Trevor’s video has shown up on numerous national media outlets and even in the New Zealand Herald. The takeaway is always the same: it’s not about Trevor but about proving that organ donation really makes a difference.

“I think that’s our next calling, to raise awareness for organ donation,” Philip Sullivan told Today.com. “We wanted to post it and say, ‘Look. This is a great thing you can do.’ We want to show how important it is to be an organ donor. We wanted to raise awareness, but I never thought it was going to go this wide stream.”

Cayce Sowle, one of Trevor’s Scout leaders, summarized the young man’s story quite well.

“Faced with more challenges than any teenager should, Trevor has … found a way to not only come through them in brilliant fashion but … to help countless others through his endeavor to raise awareness of organ donation,” Sowle said.


About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.