Michael Seidick

Lehigh Valley man’s life saved twice by organ donors, giving him a legacy of gratitude

When Lehigh Valley resident Michael Seidick looks at his three sons, he can’t help but think that they wouldn’t be here if not for organ donors who twice saved Seidick’s life when he was a child.

One of the longest-surviving kidney transplant recipients in the country, Seidick was the first Lehigh Valley resident to receive a pediatric kidney transplant in 1978 when he was 9. A few years later in his teens, that kidney failed and he received another.

Seidick had fallen critically ill 46 years ago when he was 8 and recalled the tough choice his parents faced at the hospital when doctors informed them their son’s kidneys “were gone.”

“They were given the choices of: Put him on dialysis, put him on dialysis and wait for a transplant or they could let him go,” he remembered in an interview with PBS39. “Thankfully, they chose dialysis and a transplant.”

Seidick was at the very early stages of the transplantation field and was just the beginning of the field’s childhood transplant success stories created through the decades.

“I’m so thankful to both my donors,” he said. “They both are deceased donors. I can’t thank them enough.”

More than 1,900 children under 18 are waiting for a variety of organs and more than 25% of them are under 5. During National Pediatric Transplant Week, the last full week of National Donate Life Month in April, a national focus is placed on ending that pediatric transplant waiting list.

Seidick, a golf pro at Green Pond Country Club in Bethlehem Township, noted his three children “would not be here without my two transplants. They’ll have kids and they’ll be part of society and keep giving back. It keeps on going and I think I’m living proof of that.

“The best thing you can do at the end of your life is to save someone,” he added. “They will remember you forever.”

Learn how you can get involved and register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor online.