|By Jon Maib|
It is great getting out to those events that support a cause, because you get to meet new people and hear their stories for why they've come out to support these events. When I went to the Crawl for a Reason, I got to speak with several people who were willing to share some incredible stories. Like John, the owner of Zero Limits Off-road. I was able to speak with him for a good half hour while he told me how he recently lost his wife to cancer and shared his amazing, yet heart wrenching story about celebrating their anniversary alone on a trip that they had planned together.
Another person I had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with was Davy Murphy and his wife Wendy. Davy had such an interesting story I had to sit down with him for a few hours by the fire to hear the whole thing. Davy is a heart transplant recipient and now spends his spare time promoting organ donation through DonateLifeTexas.org with his fully custom Jeep CJ-5, 'Whiplash'.
After a series of life threatening events, doctors determined that Davy had Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart in which the muscles become enlarged, thick or rigid. This causes the heart to pump less blood through the body and it is unable to maintain a normal electrical rhythm. Davy's prognosis was severe enough that the doctors told him that he would either have to have a heart transplant or live with an LVAD, an electromechanical device that assists the heart in circulation, and Davy felt like one day that could fail. Davy and Wendy had to make the difficult decision to either risk a heart transplant or go with a mechanical pump that could one day fail. After much prayer and debate, along with some of those nudging signs that God likes to give us, Davy and his wife both agreed that a transplant was the best way to go. It took a week for Davy to be placed on the transplant list and then he had to wait for a donor, hoping that his heart would hold out until one could be found. By the grace of God, from the time that Davy got on the transplant list to the day he got his new heart, was only a 3 week time period! That's amazingly fast in the transplant world.
Very early in the morning on November 16th, 2011, Davy received a new heart. At this point in our conversations, Davy wanted to brag a bit that his transplant has been one of the fasted heart transplants to date. The transplant went great and he then had to wait to see if his body would reject the new heart or not. Since I was able to sit with Davy earlier this month, you can only assume that the heart took well. Davy still needs to be on a constant strict medicine regimen to this day and has to be very conscious about keeping himself healthy, avoid germs and sick people.
I believe that going through an event like this really tends to give you a different look on life, and you can see that in Davy. He is a super nice guy and has a heart (pun intended) for sharing his story and promoting organ donation because of the second chance he was given. Without the person that was willing to donate, he may have not been here today to share his story. Davy was even willing to lead a group of us Jeepers through the trails at the event even though he was way out of our modification class. And of course, his CJ-5 made us all look pretty wimpy!
His 1978 Jeep CJ-5 sits on a 1985 CJ-7 frame that has been stretched an extra 6 inches and then an additional 6 inch wheelbase comes from the use of Cherokee springs giving Whiplash an overall 12" of extra wheelbase. Davy custom built the roll cage using 120 wall DOM tubing and has had a custom wrap put on the Jeep. In fact, his list of modifications is a mile long.
If you cant tell, Whiplash is a beast. Standing next to it, you would never guess that it's running a 258. This Jeep works extremely well and Davy uses it in competitions to continue to help spread the word about organ donations.
It was such a pleasure to spend time wheeling with Davy and Wendy and getting to know his story. So, if you are interested in becoming a donor, please visit DonateLifeTexas.org and register so that you may one day be able to help someone like Davy.