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As Ky. EMT waits for a liver, fellow responders rally around him

The Highview Fire Department and Louisville Metro Police Department have been raising funds for Sean Colyer


Photo/Highview Fire Department

By Leila Merrill

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Highview Fire Department EMT Sean Colyer needs a liver, and fellow first responders and community members have been raising funds in a show of support, WDRB reported.

Colyer’s symptoms began roughly a month after he responded to a fire in 2015. He was a volunteer firefighter then. He was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, which doctors said he had since childhood but that was worsened by breathing chemicals at the fire at GE’s Appliance Park.

“My body is looking at my liver as a foreign object and trying to reject it,” he said.

Before working at Highview, Colyer served as a volunteer firefighter for the Shelby County Fire Department and was a member of the Anchorage Middletown Fire & EMS.

In November 2021, Colyer was hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19 and his liver condition got worse.

He has only been able to work on and off since then to support himself and his family. According to WHAS 11, Colyer and his fiancé have two young children — a 2-year-old and a 10-month -old.

Colyer is on a transplant list for a liver. As he tries to work and maintain his health, his community is helping him.

In December, when he was in the hospital, Highland members showed up for him in person just outside the hospital.

In March, the Highview Fire Protection District hosted a benefit. The Louisville Metro Police Department has been accepting donations for him. Almost $5,000 has been raised.

“I’m still processing what’s going on,” Colyer said. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs, for sure. My ultimate goal is to always make sure my kids are taken care of.”