Springfield College football player saves life with critical donation
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Leadership in service to others. That’s been the mission at Springfield College for over a century. In this week’s “Friday Night Frenzy” feature, we sat down with one player on the school’s football team, after his heroic act to save the life of a complete stranger.
“Overall, a once in a lifetime experience,” said athlete Patrick Tuohy
Last summer … Springfield College graduate student Patrick Tuohy, a punter on the football team, received a call that would change his life and others’.
Through the program be the match, an initiative that the Springfield College Football Team has participated in for more than a decade. Patrick donated blood stem cells to help save the life of a 60-year-old man battling leukemia.
“It was something that coach always said, is that he’s not building better players, he’s building better men,” he said.
Tuohy told Western Mass News that he and many others have received calls about being a potential match. But this year, he became the first member of the football program to donate, since former grad assistant, and current defensive coordinator Lou Dirienzo did so in 2017.
“The coolest part was that person saying you gave me a second life to spend time with my family and for that, we’ll always be connected as family,” he said.
His life-saving actions echo the “brotherhood” mantra that defines the program, and that head coach Mike Cerasuolo said is *far bigger than a slogan on a t-shirt.
“He was a tremendous player for us but obviously after what he’s done, you see what type of person he truly is as well,” he said.
While Tuohy said he never hesitated throughout the process, he quickly learned the gravity of the situation.
“It took me a while to settle in once I actually started doing all of the bloodwork, all of the tests, all the stuff like that, where I was like, this is a serious thing,” he said.
But he joked he did have to make his case to rejoin the team in the middle of the season, after missing only one practice.
“Being a punter I’m not really gonna get hit, I’m not really running a lot, not doing a lot of strenuous activity,” he said.
Number 15 was also honored by the Boston Celtics at a game last month, as part of the team’s “heroes among us” program, which recognizes individuals who have made an overwhelming impact in the life of others.
And there was one more surprise in store … to cap off what he calls the “experience of a lifetime.”
“I had produced so many stem cells that they were actually able to partially help an additional person, so they said I saved multiple lives, that’s something I didn’t even know,” he said.
His message, after his heroic act and months-long endeavor:
“Do whatever you can to help someone else out. I think that’s the best thing, not only putting yourself in front of others, but reciprocating that,” he said.
Patrick said he’s entering his last semester of graduate school and pursuing his master’s in business administration. While he said his match hasn’t contacted him yet, if this story reaches him? He hopes he’ll pay it forward and do good for others.
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