Following the tragic death of their son, a Lancaster County couple is giving a second chance to a man right in their own community.
Four years after doctors diagnosed Mike Shaub of Mountville with chronic liver disease, his family received the news that there was a young, healthy liver waiting for him.
“We found out very fast and it was a lot of excitement for me and I think a lot of excitement for a lot of us,” said Caroline Shaub, one of Mike’s daughters. “But then it’s also difficult now that it’s setting in, that we did lose someone so young and that is really where it’s coming from.”
The organ came from Landon Nuss, 19, of Warwick Township. Steve and Tina Nuss’ only son.
“He would do anything for anybody,” Steve Nuss said. “It seemed like when he became your friend, you were his best friend. Everybody said, ‘he was my best friend, he was my best friend.’”
Nuss was visiting friends at Temple University Friday night, when he accidentally fell over a stairway railing. He died Sunday morning.
Nuss designated himself as an organ donor on his license.
“He said, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to do that?’” Tina Nuss explained. “And he said, “Are you mom?” and I said, ‘Yes.’”
His parents decided to honor that wish. For his liver, they thought of Shaub, a man they didn’t know personally, but whose struggle with liver disease was well-known in the community.
“We had the ability to place him at the top of the list,” Tina said. “Otherwise, he probably would’ve never gotten one.”
Caroline Shaub is overcome with emotion at the thought of her dad being there for her and her sisters through life’s milestones, thanks to Landon Nuss and his parents.
“That he’ll be able to be there to watch us have a future, and grandkids and everything, I, can’t express to the Nuss family enough how much that means to us,” she said.
The Shaubs’ immeasurable gratitude is helping the Nuss’ through the most difficult time of their lives.
“Part of my son lives on. You know? He does,” Tina said. “His legacy, he’s my hero. I think he’s a hero.”
In addition to his liver, Landon’s heart, kidneys, pancreas and lungs have all gone to others in need of transplants.
Mike Shaub is recovering well from surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
To learn more about organ donation, click here.