A veteran Bower Hill volunteer firefighter, whose department rallied around him while he was suffering from various health problems, died on Saturday morning following complications from organ transplant surgery.
Bryan Pritchard of Scott Township died a month after he underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant while going through a lengthy illness. He was 41 years old.
Ami Elo, who is a member of the fire department, said the firefighters are “holding up” right now after their loss and consoling his wife, Mindy.
The firefighters had organized numerous fundraisers and donation drives to help Pritchard while he was ill. Pritchard underwent organ transplant surgery on Jan. 10 and was thought to be improving.
“We weren’t expecting this to happen,” Elo said. “It was very shocking.”
She said the 10-year veteran was an inspiration for the rest of the department. Elo added that he continued to come to department meetings over the past year even while he was ill.
“He was very well liked,” Elo said. “After the transplant, he was just looking forward to getting back and being at the fire house and going out on calls.”
A viewing for Pritchard will be at the Bower Hill Volunteer Fire Department on Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. There will be a “firemen’s service” at 8 p.m. The funeral service will be at the fire hall at 10 a.m. Thursday before burial at a cemetery in Morgantown, W.Va.
The family is asking that donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Bower Hill Fire Department, or the National Kidney Foundation Serving the Alleghenies, 3109 Forbes Ave, Suite 101, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.