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Man who received liver from Stone Foltz grateful for second chance at life

Scott Herold gave up alcohol cold turkey in 2019. Two years later, he started getting sick and ended up on an organ transplant list.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Scott Herold’s doctor told him the next time he would see him is at the morgue, he had a decision to make. Stop drinking or start getting all of his affairs in order.

After heavy drinking for decades, Herold quit cold turkey. He wanted to keep his daughter and his son, who he was living with after a divorce, in his life.

“I needed my family back,” said Herold, “I don't want to lose it.”

For two years he was sober, but he started to get sick in 2021.

“I did the COVID test, it came back negative. And then I just got sicker than a dog and they put me in to the hospital. I was turning jaundice, and they were like, there's something wrong with your liver,” said Herold.

Herold, who is from Wadsworth, Ohio, was hospitalized for 10 days after becoming delusional. He returned home where he was later found unresponsive, and he was rushed to Cleveland Clinic.

Scott’s sister Lisa Callahan stepped in to help him through his medical stays.

“He was becoming sicker and sicker and that was during COVID when you could only have one person come see you at the hospital and I was his main contact,” said Callahan. “I remember he wasn't eating, and he wasn't getting up.”

Herold needed a new liver. He was placed on the transplant list on March 3, 2021. Four days later he received a call from his doctor.

They told him, ‘Mr. Herold, we have a liver for you. We'll know more once... the doctors fly and take a look at it.’

On the evening of March 8, he was under the knife for a 12-hour surgery. The liver was successfully received by his body even after discovering an infection inside.

It wasn’t long after did he start wondering, whose liver did he receive?

“So many times, where it's that survivor guilt, and it's like, really didn't deserve his because of how I live my life and how I got here,” said Herold. “I feel how lucky I am. I mean, I know that… I'm carrying on somebody else. I have… the little card they gave me, it's on my nightstand…Thank you for doing what you did by signing in the back of your driver's license.”

Herold received a letter less than two months later from the organ donor’s family. He saw the first names on the letter and decided to search for the story on Google. He found out a sophomore in college at Bowling Green State University that died in a hazing incident involving alcohol. He found Stone Foltz through his parents’ names, Shari and Cori.

Foltz died on March 7, 2021. He was kept alive for three days on life support for organ donation. Herold had a feeling inside of him, that he was carrying Stone’s liver, but he didn’t know for certain.

The letters turned to Facebook messages, and then an arranged date to meet.

10TV and its sister station, WTOL in Toledo, were invited to be there when Scott Herold and his sister Lisa Callahan met Stone’s family, Shari, Cory, AJ, and Jersey.

Both sides say they were nervous, but the meeting started with a hug.

Herold called their son a ‘lifesaver.’

“To know Stone was able to help and you could create more memories with your son and your daughter is just huge,” said Cory Foltz, Stone’s father.

“That was the thing, my daughter says, you can walk me down the aisle when I want to get married,” said Herold.

“We look for every little piece that we can and this piece here and seeing what you're able to do and then hearing about your daughter talking about the wedding and being able when she gets married walk her down the aisles that's huge,” said Cory Foltz.

Herold told Stone’s family he is now four years sober.

“Trying to get sober, I got sober,” said Herold, “then you find out what happened with Stone… I always remember my daughter saying, ‘Well, you know, if you ever meet them are you going to tell them what happened to you?’ And I'm like, ‘it's part of me, it's part of my past.’

“I would never think anything different by any means just knowing he (Stone) helped you. I mean, that means the world to us. That's, that's all that matters,” said Shari Foltz, Stone’s mother.

Shari gave Scott Stone’s high school portrait in a frame, so he can put it next to his nightstand, beside his donor card. After the television cameras were turned off, both families went to eat to catch up.

A second chance at life for Scott Herold, after Stone made the decision at 16 years old to become a donor. It was a decision Stone’s family didn’t know would save and change countless lives.

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