PITTSBURGH — A father and volunteer fireman with the Kirwan Heights Fire Department has a special request from his firefighting brothers and sisters, as he awaits his second heart transplant.
Aaron Card, 26, simply wants T-shirts from fire companies so he can wear them during his stay at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Tira Wallace, Card’s girlfriend and also a volunteer firefighter, came up with the idea and took her request to social media.
“Fire departments are all about brotherhood and sharing, and I started with a Facebook post, saying, ‘Hey, if anyone has any T-shirts,’” she told Channel 11 News.
Wallace said she wanted Card to have something more comfortable to wear since he isn’t a fan of hospital gowns.
The first shirt he received was from the Library Volunteer Fire Company.
“It was nice to see this effort from people who are nearby who could make him happy,” Wallace said.
Card had been dealing with heart problems his entire life and has had multiple surgeries. He had his first heart transplant when he was 12 years old. Last year, he started having complications.
“He didn’t want a heart transplant to mean for him that 'I have to give up.' He wanted it to mean 'I have a second chance at life, and I’m going to do everything I can,'” Wallace said.
Card’s doctors last week moved him up on the transplant list, and now he’s waiting for a new heart. He said he’s determined to get one so he can be part of all the big moments of his daughter’s life.
“He told me when he got sick that 'I’m going to be there to walk her down the aisle,'” Wallace said.
Card’s family members said they are hopeful and thankful for the support from firefighters from near and far and for the future donor and his or her family.
“Twice now, somebody will be giving us a gift that we couldn’t have gotten anywhere else,” Wallace said. “We’re grateful to them for the life they’ll allow us to have together.”
Anyone who would like to donate a fire department T-shirt can send them to the Kirwan Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
© 2020 Cox Media Group