Arlington man donates liver to co-worker

Two Arlington men were once just co-workers but now they have a bond they will keep for the rest of their lives – a liver donation.

Duty, honor and sacrifice and are ingrained into Michael Snyder's character after two Army tours in Iraq. When he heard that his long time co-worker Brian Burkett needed a liver donation, he offered to donate a portion of his -- no problem.

"If you can do something to help someone why not do it,” Snyder said.

Burkett had been ill for about 3 years with cirrhosis that was genetic. Many of his own family members were ruled out as a donor. Even many who volunteered didn't match.

Early last year, Burkett put out an email to his church family and his AT&T family looking for help. Mike was not only the first to apply, he was as perfect a match doctors could find.

"I'm dependent on somebody else someone willing to sacrifice themselves literally on the operating table so I can have a better quality of life, so in that sense it's very humbling,” Burkett said.

It wasn't easy, as Snyder had fatty liver disease. Doctors said he had to drop 25 pounds and Mike said, no problem.

"First thing in the morning I'd go work out for an hour go to work, work all day go home work out for another hour,” Snyder said.

Finally in September, they had the surgery. Doctors from Baylor took 70 percent of Snyder's liver and gave it to Burkett.

"John 15:13 says no greater love than this that a man lay down his life for someone else and I just think about Mike,” Burkett said.

Both men are in good health after the transplant and both livers have grown back to 90 percent.

"I went through a little bit of pain at first but it was well worth it in the end to see every day how it's affected Brian and basically given him a second chance in life,” Snyder said.

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