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Sam Wyche found a heart donor, recovering from transplant surgery


Former Bengals and Buccaneers coach Sam Wyche is out of surgery and “doing great” after a donor heart was found and he underwent transplant surgery.

Wyche went into surgery early Tuesday morning, and the procedure took around four and a half hours. His family posted on Facebook that he was in recovery and doing well.

His children told WLWT in Cincinnati that Wyche had just been told by doctors he was about a week away from being sent home with hospice, before the donor match was found.

“I pretty much thought most of the day was, he was going to end up passing away and then found out he was hopefully going to get a new heart, which it turned out he did,” Kerry Wyche said. “I told my kids last night when they were saying prayers to say an extra prayer to the donor family. Even though we’re celebrating, they’re preparing for a funeral. And so I, I pray for them as well.”

His son Zak, who is an assistant coach at a Cincinnati high school, said his team had just prayed for his father just as the news came in.

“Football team prayed for my father yesterday at the end of practice, and he said it’s about the same time when the doctor came in and they’d found a heart for him,” Zak Wyche said.

Wyche is recovering in a Charlotte hospital, where he was in the same room as Panthers owner Jerry Richardson when he got his heart transplant in 2009.

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35 Responses to “Sam Wyche found a heart donor, recovering from transplant surgery”
  1. tampabayirish says: Sep 14, 2016 7:05 AM

    Good luck Coach and our biggest “thank you” is not nearly enough to the courageous donor family who’s decision at a very tough moment gave somebody else a 2nd chance at life. Prayers to all involved.

  2. paulieorkid says: Sep 14, 2016 7:08 AM

    I bet the heart donor did not hail from Cleveland.

  3. crewchief15 says: Sep 14, 2016 7:11 AM

    That’s Awesome!! Good man, wish him all the best!

  4. lifeistoughtrustmeimadolphinsfan says: Sep 14, 2016 7:11 AM

    Hmmm, isn’t that his third heart? Celebrity means way too much in the medical world. My prayers go out to the donor’s family, let’s hope Wyche doesn’t waste another one. I’m fairly sure other families waiting for a donor got bypassed for this guy…

  5. jeagan1999 says: Sep 14, 2016 7:13 AM

    Thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to Coach Wyche. He is one of the true innovators of the game we all love so much, and he often doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his contributions to the game.

    Stay strong Sam!

  6. Johnny Styles says: Sep 14, 2016 7:17 AM

    Tremendous news! Get well soon Sam!

  7. sconnyslovethemsomecousins says: Sep 14, 2016 7:27 AM

    Good for Sam. It would be great if we found out the donor was from Cleveland.

  8. folkcrusader says: Sep 14, 2016 7:27 AM

    As a person waiting for an organ transplant, nothing makes me happier than seeing some one receive a life giving organ transplant. I hope the universe has a special place for the donor, and a special love for their family.

  9. nbcwantsitsmoneyback says: Sep 14, 2016 8:06 AM

    Great Coach, Great guy!

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.!

  10. thelastwordyaheard says: Sep 14, 2016 8:06 AM

    They always manage to find organs for the noteworthy names ..the rest of the commoners just die in anonymity.

  11. ntewsr says: Sep 14, 2016 8:19 AM

    Prayers for Mr. Wyche and his recovery. Also prayers for the donor and their family.

  12. shackdelrio says: Sep 14, 2016 8:22 AM

    Wow. Doug Stamper does it again.

  13. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Sep 14, 2016 8:33 AM

    Thanks for the good news. Nice way to start the day!

  14. bonitalocal says: Sep 14, 2016 8:40 AM

    Best wishes Sam!

  15. hotlasagna says: Sep 14, 2016 8:53 AM

    Congrats to the Wyche Family. Here’s to a successful recovery.

  16. NFLexpert says: Sep 14, 2016 8:54 AM

    God Bless you Sam, hope you have many more good years ahead.

  17. jjackwagon says: Sep 14, 2016 8:54 AM

    “You don’t live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati!”

    Still one of the most awesome speeches ever given by an NFL coach.

    Get well soon Coach!!

  18. aj66shanghai says: Sep 14, 2016 8:56 AM

    Met him in the late 80s, just a super nice and friendly guy. Hope he recovers fully and quickly.

  19. selldannysell says: Sep 14, 2016 9:05 AM

    Hallelujah! Continued thoughts and prayers to him for a speedy recovery!

  20. pgolf3 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:12 AM

    Wonderful News Sam. God bless

  21. rankster1950 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:19 AM

    Good luck Sam from steeler nation. I’m old enough to remember those great steeler, Bengal games when you were coach. Have a speedy recovery.

  22. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Sep 14, 2016 9:25 AM

    WOW !

  23. 69goatboy says: Sep 14, 2016 9:50 AM

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Coach.

    And my condolences to the donor’s family.

  24. doctorrustbelt says: Sep 14, 2016 9:55 AM

    Get well, Sam.

    Interesting note… the Cleveland Clinic is the #1 ranked cardiology hospital in the United States.

    So… living in Cleveland can be a good thing for people suffering from heart related ailments.

  25. mongo3401 says: Sep 14, 2016 10:09 AM

    Congratulations and all the best

  26. crewchief15 says: Sep 14, 2016 10:33 AM

    How anyone would thumbs down good wishes in this situation for another person is beyond me…

  27. yourcubreporter says: Sep 14, 2016 10:34 AM

    A heart transplant for a 71 year old man?

    Congrats to the Wyche family, and hopes for a speedy recovery, but 71?

    Like the doctor asked my dad when he was discussing cancer treatments, “How long DO you plan on living?”

  28. finchy74 says: Sep 14, 2016 10:40 AM

    Awesome news.

    “You don’t live in Cleveland!!!”

  29. selliott504 says: Sep 14, 2016 10:46 AM

    Wishing Sam and his family all the best and special prayers for the donor family – they are real angels on earth.

  30. granadafan says: Sep 14, 2016 11:10 AM

    Thank you for including the quote thanking the donor’s family. The family had to endure a tragic loss, but hopefully they’ll take comfort knowing their loss will give life to someone else.

    Everyone should sign up to be an organ donor.

  31. heymister24 says: Sep 14, 2016 11:34 AM

    Finding a donor is one thing, doctors doing the heart surgery is another. Amazing!

  32. patsfaninphilly says: Sep 14, 2016 11:37 AM

    >>>>>thelastwordyaheard says:
    Sep 14, 2016 8:06 AM
    They always manage to find organs for the noteworthy names ..the rest of the commoners just die in anonymity.>>>>

    Walter Payton’s family might disagree as he died before they could find a donor liver for him.
    Kudos to the family for donating, a silver lining to a tragedy, knowing their loved one lives on and one less family is in mourning…..
    …from someone who has been there……..

  33. dallasdominates says: Sep 14, 2016 11:37 AM

    Heart Transplant Surgeries are always a tear jerker for me because someone is gaining a blessing, while the donor loses its life. I can never fathom what its’ like to donate a piece of you so someone else can live…. Prayers for both families involved.

  34. hewitt52 says: Sep 14, 2016 12:26 PM

    I want to start by saying I don’t wish anyone to lose their life and wish there was a solution for everyone.

    I’m just curious though about the donor process considering both Wyche’s and Jerry Richardson’s ages. Wouldn’t priority be given to someone younger? Can anyone who knows how the process works comment?

    Please don’t kill me. It’s an honest curiosity and I am sure plenty of you have the same.

  35. armstrongsmissingball says: Sep 14, 2016 12:40 PM

    The two ignorant comments about celebrity and nameworthy people receiving preferential treatment have no clue how it works. My wife works in the industry and the criteria that goes into the placement and acceptance of any organ is so extensive. I wish you could spend one night on call in my wife’s shoes doing what she does. You would have a completely different view of organ transplants. The lists are extensive and the criteria immense when doing the screening process. The only thing going for a celebrity or namesake is if they can get to the donor hospital in enough time to get the organ if matched they can list in any area. Get your facts straight before spewing stupid comments like that.

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