Bridgeport firefighter donates liver to sick 2-year-old boy

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A Bridgeport firefighter has been named firefighter of the year after he donated part of his liver to a sick child.

Tim Landock donated part of his organ to 2-year-old Dylan, who was diagnosed with biliary atresia, which causes the liver to become unable to clear bile in the body.

Landock and Dylan underwent a successful surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital on Feb. 12.

Doctors say Dylan is doing great and accepted the portion of Landock's liver.

Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode says he was honored to recommend Landock as Firefighter of the Year 2019, an award that Landock received Wednesday night.  He says Landock exemplifies heroism, compassion, and selflessness.

Landock says he originally became interested in helping a child through organ donation when he saw a moving story on the news about a Fairfield child needing a donation. He contacted the Yale Transplant Center to see how he could help.

Even though that child ended up getting a transplant from someone else, Landock decided to stay in the program and that's how he and Dylan were eventually matched for surgery.

The firefighter says he will never forget seeing Dylan after the surgery. “When I first walked in, it felt like the birth of my child,” he says. “To see him there, it was like touching a miracle.”

Dylan's family is originally from Kentucky but moved to Rhode Island so they could be closer to Boston's Children Hospital where he was first diagnosed. 

Landock says after his friends and fellow firefighters Mitch Baik and Lieutenant Steven Valesquez were killed in 2010, he became even more service oriented and pledged to be of help whenever he could. 

"Life is too short," he says. "If you can help somebody, whether you know them or not, why not do it?"

Landock says he hopes sharing his story will build awareness about organ transplantation.

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