Retired Eagle Valley teacher doing well after kidney transplant

Dave Scott Monday received a new kidney from 5th Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum

Dave Scott, left, and Heidi McCollum before they went in Monday for surgery. Scott needed a new kidney, and McCollum gave him one of hers.
Courtesy photo

Here’s a quick update on former Eagle Valley High School teacher Dave Scott: He’s doing really well.

Here’s an equally quick update on 5th Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum, who donated a kidney to Scott: She was discharged Wednesday from the Aurora hospital where the procedures were done.

McCollum was headed home Wednesday afternoon, but still a little sore, Dave’s wife, Susan Scott, said in a telephone interview.

McCollum and Scott, both encouraged to get up and walk around post-surgery, spent some time in each other’s rooms since Monday’s surgeries.

The McCollum and Scott families, who have known each other roughly forever, mostly through their time at Eagle Valley, also were on hand to provide love and support.

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Susan Scott said the doctors and other medical professionals at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center are impressed, bordering on amazed, at Dave’s progress.

“His kidney is working at 100%,” Susan said. “His numbers are down to where a normal kidney is. He’s tired, and in some pain, but he’s up walking.”

Dave discovered a couple of years ago that he needed a kidney, and doctors said he wouldn’t live long enough to wait the five to seven years needed to find a kidney from someone recently deceased. That meant he needed a kidney from a living donor, one who matched his relatively rare blood type.

As word spread — the Scotts didn’t put out a request — people all over the Eagle and Gypsum communities offered Dave one of their kidneys. McCollum has known the Scotts pretty much her entire life. Her dad, George, was also a longtime teacher at Eagle Valley.

She was one of the many who offered Dave a kidney. But she also went through the testing required to determine if she could be a match. She kept that to herself until determining she could be a donor.

“She’s an amazing person,” Dave said. “She’s thoughtful, kind, considerate and smart, and she always looks at the bright side.”

Dave was able to talk for a couple of minutes, and said Wednesday he feels “better than I have.”

Susan agreed.

“He’s more energized,” she said. “Before the transplant, he’d sleep 24 out of 24 hours if he could. “He’s been up all day today, responding (to visitors) and talking to them.”

Among the visitors has been Jennifer Wright, who the Scotts consider another daughter.

In the early 2000s, Wright, then a teacher at Eagle Valley, started feeling awful one day in class. Paramedics were called, and Dave insisted that they transport her to the hospital in Vail. He rode with her in the ambulance, and stayed until she was transferred to Denver — coincidentally, the CU Medical Center.

She remains grateful beyond words.

Dave and Susan “Have been such a blessing to us,” Wright said. “He’s such a beloved man,” adding that Dave and Susan are “caretakers” who have lent a hand to any number of students, friends and others.

“The love they’ve shown has been returned, tenfold,” Wright said.

Want to keep up?

Go to the Team Dave Scott website.

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