Community Rallies To Find Kidney Donor For A Beloved Retired Teacher

A surgery scheduled for May 30 has a story behind it that dates back decades.

David and Susan Scott are retired Colorado high school teachers and coaches. The two have made their mark on the community, impacting countless lives who have crossed through their classrooms and courts.

“Everyone knows who the Scotts are here in the Eagle Valley,” said Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum.

McCollum’s parents were colleagues of the Scotts at Eagle Valley High School. Heidi even took a health class with Susan.

“The one thing that stood out to me more than anything was just her kindness,” McCollum recalled. “I don’t remember another teacher that went out of their way like she did to inquire as to how I was doing.”

The Scotts have been married for nearly 50 years and met in a classroom. David proposed to Susan roughly one month after their first date. The two now have grandchildren and say they have always worked well as a team.

“We’ve had quite a journey with Dave’s health. He’s been up and down with several things,” Susan explained. “He had two strokes. He only had 40% of his speech, and now he has 100% of his speech back most of the time. And he’s really, really worked hard to get better.”

As a result of the medical testing that followed David’s strokes, the family discovered he had kidney disease. They were shocked to learn he did not have time to be put on the list for an organ transplant.

“So, we needed a live donor. And lo and behold, who came along — Heidi,” Susan said.

McCollum reconnected with the Scotts in the fall at a memorial service for another Eagle Valley High School teacher. She says the teacher had passed away suddenly from cancer not long after another educator died from COVID-19.

“The community can’t lose another pillar, like we’ve just done with these other two teachers,” McCollum said.

The Scotts and McCollum stayed in touch following the service, and she learned of David’s health complications.

“We’re just talking about different things and told her [about] my situation, and she goes, ‘Oh, I’ll give you my kidney.’ Very casually,” said David.

The Scotts say more than 20 people volunteered to give David a kidney. Ultimately, McCollum was a match.

“It’s been very humbling to realize that I have the luxury of going in and having these tests done because I’m able to potentially help someone,” McCollum said. “Why wouldn’t I do this?”

The Scotts say there are barely any words that sum up their gratitude for McCollum. They say it is a sign of how powerful the bond can be between educators and their community.

To learn more about organ donation, visit Donor Alliance’s website.

By Colette Bordelon, KMGH.