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  • KSHB 41 Action News

    2-time Kansas City-area heart recipient encourages others to donate organs

    By Abby Dodge,


    In honor of Donate Life Month this April, 39-year-old Steve Richberg is sharing his story of organ donation.

    Richberg is a father of two sons, which kept him busy until he was sidelined at 28 after a stroke. He sat on the heart transplant list for years.

    VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Abby Dodge

    “Whenever you are in a situation where I was, you don’t know what the future holds,” Richberg said. “So the fact that [I am] here to be there with them is a blessing to see them grow and go through all the things you were afraid you weren’t going to see.” Abby Dodge/KSHB
    Steve Richberg

    Richberg had his first heart transplant in 2016. He quickly got back to watching his children compete in athletics and conquer milestones.

    A heart attack in April of 2022 landed him back in the hospital, in need of another transplant. Richberg and his family remained at the hospital until he found a donor.

    Richberg said a positive attitude from his family was what kept him going.

    “I had to literally lay there in patience and just try to be positive and think it’s going to happen really soon,” he said.

    He received his second heart on April 18, 2022.

    Dr. Russell Davis transplanted both of Richberg’s hearts. He said Richberg and thousands of other people on the organ transplant waitlist are deserving of another chance.

    “When you are like Steve, you’ve done everything right and you are a great steward of your organ,” Davis said. “You are not in control of when it decides to give out on you, right?”

    Davis and Richberg met Wednesday afternoon for the first time since Richberg left the hospital.

    Davis said it is rewarding to see patients years after a successful surgery, which encourages him to advocate for organ donation.

    “Take that opportunity,” Davis said. “Make a positive out of what's negative to those around you. Give someone else a chance and give them hope.” Abby Dodge/KSHB
    Dr. Russell Davis shares a moment with Steve Richberg

    Richberg credits his organ donor and their family with his new outlook on life.

    “I think my eyes are a lot more open in the world. I’m a lot more at peace,” he said. “And just a lot more grateful for the friends and family I have. A lot more grateful for the little things.”

    Richberg and his wife recently sent their oldest son off to college at Mizzou and enjoy watching their youngest on the football field at Blue Springs South. Courtesy Steve Richberg

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