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.



  1. Saw the clip on YouTube but didn’t realize this brave young man is a Scout! Congrats to Trevor; may his recovery be speedy and uneventful.

  2. I have a lump in my throat and I’m near tears. Trevor, you are very much brave and cheerful!! Thank you for waking us up to organ donation!!

    • YES to organ donation! Sign up through your state’s DMV and a ‘donor’ icon will be added to the front of your driver’s license.

  3. I am a Scoutmaster and have expire cede the miracle of a renal transplant. It’s been 7 years and I thank God and the donar’s family. Get well and enjoy life

  4. Although de-emphasized by Scouts, the Donor Awareness program and patch recognition always seemed like an outstanding way to get millions of Scouts to increase registration of much-needed donors. Perhaps national leadership should speak to Trevor about the importance of this program

  5. I have been planning to make the phone call for organ and tissue donation for almost a year now since seeing my doctor. Thanks Trevor, thanks to you I can post this and make my call to become a donor and raise awareness. I will do this for LENT to reform my life and reach out to others. If I can help others when I am no longer able to live, live with go on. I was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Waterfront Director for Boy Scouts. God bless you in your recovery and many more happy memories.

  6. I am currently working on starting a program locally in NE Ohio. My cousin passed away in Dec 2015 and was an organ donor & then I saw Trevor’s video on FB. You have inspired me. God Bless you & your family.

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