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According to "Medical News Today," 17 people die each day waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs. One Madisonville man dropped everything, traveled thousands of miles across the country, and donated part of his liver to save his nephew's life.
People who know Mike Cousins say he is a man of integrity and honor.
"When you think about heroes today, I would definitely call him a hero. Someone who's willing to be a servant no matter the cost," said Donnie Foster, Cousins Pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Madisonville.
Cousins is an active church member serving as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher and Youth Ministry Director.
Foster believes it was Cousins faith and love for children which helped him make a tough decision.
Cousins four-year-old nephew, Brandon, developed an infection in his liver. The family was told he wouldn't have long to live without a transplant. A donor search was unsuccessful, so Cousins stepped in. He flew to Chicago and underwent surgery to remove part of his liver to give to his nephew.
"I was glad to do what I could for him because he comes first in all of this," said Cousins.
Cousins church family says he is always the one to help out in a time of need. So it was no surprise that he decided to help his nephew.
"I would expect Mike to step up and do something like that for his relative. And it doesn't surprise me that he would be the first to volunteer to help a child," said Erica Charlton, a Faith Baptist Church Member..
"The Lord has blessed me. It's very rewarding to know that you are able to help somebody," said Cousins.
Helping children isn't new to Cousins. He is also a 4th grade teacher at Madisonville Intermediate.
"The kids love him. They respond to him really well he's a friend," said Jill Huff, a fellow teacher.
Cousins will miss several weeks of school as he recovers from the operation. School officials say his class is very well behaved. His students say they miss him and hope he has a speedy recovery.
Cousins and his nephew, Brandon, are both doing well. Cousins is expected to return from Chicago sometime next week.
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