Trib LIve | Paul Kogut
“Everybody was cheering, and then somebody came in with one of those little Igloo coolers,” he said.
That’s the last thing the Natrona Heights resident remembers before he was anesthetized and underwent surgery to receive a kidney, which was delivered from California in a cooler.
It seems appropriate the moment produced a celebratory tone. Bushman is one of the founders and coaches of the Highland Hornets Youth Football Organization, surpassed 350 coaching wins last year and plans to roam the sideline again this fall.
In mid-March, he scored a big victory when the transplant, performed at Allegheny General Hospital, was a success.
For almost three years, Bushman underwent dialysis three times a week while waiting for a kidney and continuing to coach. He said twice the operation was scheduled before it was called off at the last minute.
Bushman admits he was depressed but clung to hope because he was a member of the Paired Kidney Donation program with his son, Don “Donnie” Bushman II.
The father-son duo wasn’t an organ match. However, Donnie was able to donate a kidney to a woman in Utah. In exchange, the elder Bushman received a kidney from a man in California.
That’s a tough Father’s Day present to top.