SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Leadership in service to others. That has been the mission of Springfield College for more than a century. In this week’s “Friday Night Frenzy” article, we sit down with a player from the school’s football team, after his heroic act to save the life of a complete stranger.
“Overall, a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said athlete Patrick Tuohy.
Last summer… Springfield College graduate student Patrick Tuohy, kicker for the football team, received a call that would change his life and the lives of others.
Through the be the match program, an initiative in which the Springfield College Football Team has participated for more than a decade. Patrick donated blood stem cells to help save the life of a 60-year-old man battling leukemia.
“It was something that the coach always said, is that he is not training better players, he is training better men,” he said.
Tuohy told Western Mass News that he and many others have received calls about being a possible match. But this year, he became the first member of the football program to donate, as former graduate assistant and current defensive coordinator Lou Dirienzo did in 2017.
“The best part was that person who said that you gave me a second life to spend time with my family and because of that, we will always be connected as a family,” he said.
His lifesaving actions echo the program’s defining “brotherhood” mantra, which head coach Mike Cerasuolo said is *much bigger than a slogan on a T-shirt.
“He was a tremendous player for us, but obviously after what he’s done, you also see what kind of person he really is,” he said.
While Tuohy said he never hesitated throughout the entire process, he quickly learned the seriousness of the situation.
“It took me a while to adjust once I started doing all the bloodwork, all the tests, all of that, where I was at, this is serious stuff,” he said.
But he joked that he had to make his case to rejoin the team in the middle of the season, after missing just one practice.
“Being a kicker, I’m not really going to get hit, I don’t really run a lot, I don’t do a lot of strenuous activity,” he said.
Number 15 was also honored by the Boston Celtics at a game last month, as part of the team’s “heroes among us” program, which recognizes individuals who have made an overwhelming impact on the lives of others.
And there was one more surprise in store… to culminate what he calls the “experience of his life.”
“I produced so many stem cells that they were actually able to partially help another person, so they said I saved multiple lives, that’s something I didn’t even know about,” he said.
His message, after his heroic act and efforts of months:
“Do what you can to help someone else. I think that’s the best thing, not just putting yourself in front of others, but reciprocating that,” she said.
Patrick said he is entering his last semester of graduate school and is pursuing an MBA. Although he said that his partner has not contacted him yet, if this story reaches him? He hopes to return the favor and do good to others.
Copyright 2023. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.