Willard’s Michael Finley Jr. celebrates transplant anniversary

It seems like an average Tuesday at the Finley household.

“Just hanging out with my family that’s about it,” said Willard senior Michael Finley Jr.

But today is very different than it was a year ago.

“It’s crazy to think about where we were last year at this time. We were sitting in a waiting room getting updates,“ said Michael’s mom Kathy.

A year ago Tuesday, Michael Finley Junior received a double lung transplant. After last year‘s state wrestling tournament Mike was taken to the hospital for the flu and staff infection which quickly turned into pneumonia. Mike was on life-support and doesn’t remember the day, but his parents remember it all too well.

“They told us that they didn’t think he was going to make it, there was no way to support him,“ said Kathy.

Mike beat the odds and spent the whole year in rehab, re-learning the basics.

“Being able to write and stuff like that, learning how to do all of that stuff again,“ said Mike.

The recovery made that much tougher by COVID-19 — putting his already weak immune system in life-threatening danger.

“I started to realize that I actually can’t go anywhere. I actually have to stay home,“ said Michael.
“We put everybody on a walk down nobody could go anywhere, nobody could have friends over,” Kathy said.

He and his five siblings following their own stay at home order, and since his mom is the director of nursing at a healthcare facility she had to take extra precautions.

“I ended up staying at a hotel for three weeks just to make sure,“ said Kathy.

Through these uncertain times the support has remained constant.

“I got some e-cards from people that were sending stuff to Michael today just because they knew it was his year transplant anniversary,“ Kathy said.

April 28, 2019 the Finley‘s were surprised with a donor — a year later Michael’s family is giving him another surprise, one he’ll remember.

Tags: ,