Doyel: Rival coaches meet over shared need—new hearts

USA TODAY | Greg Doyel

Bryan Fisher, football coach at Northridge High School (Middlebury, Ind.) received a new heart in May. His heart problem was identified on Jan. 12, when wife Christy insisted he go to the emergency room.

What are the odds? Two young men, both high school coaches. Not just coaches, but football coaches. Two Indiana husbands and fathers, separated by 17 miles of U.S. Highway 20.

Both in need of a heart transplant. At the same time.

One of them, who coaches at Northridge High in Middlebury, received his new heart in May in Indianapolis. The other, who coaches at LaGrange Lakeland, is still on the waiting list. When it’s time, he too will travel to Indianapolis for his new heart.

Two young men, strangers really, separated by four years of age and 17 miles of road.

Their football teams play Friday night.

What are the odds?

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Before all this, Bryan Fisher didn’t know David Priestley. He knew the name, of course. Seventeen miles away, another football coach with the same job? Fisher knew Priestley’s name, knew his job, but that was about it. Continue reading