NEWS9 Special Assignment: Life Transplanted

WTOV | Kate Davison

Maureen Gillespie-Lovell, Bill Padden and John Afek went their separate ways after graduation day in 1974, not knowing they’d be connected again for a much different reason.

They grew up in Jefferson County -- all three members of that year's graduating class at Steubenville Catholic Central.

They’re all recipients of the gift of life: organ donation.

Here are their stories:

Maureen Gillespie-Lovell

Gillespie-Lovell, who now lives in Columbus, was on vacation when she experienced the first signs of liver failure.

"I was at a restaurant,” she said. “We were on vacation and the air conditioning was broken and between the smell of the food and the air conditioning being broken, I got sick, and I told my husband, ‘you finish, I’m going to go to the car. Well I didn’t think anything about it."

A cycle of on and off sickness plagued her for the next several months.

"I finally went to the doctor and he did blood work and it came back. My liver numbers were off," Gillespie-Lovell said. “Then the ball started rolling. It was like two and three different tests a week and you’d get the results back and one would be worse than the other." Continue reading

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