Hundreds filled The Belvedere in Papillion Sunday for a spaghetti meal in honor of Michael Bramhall, a firefighter and EMT with Ralston Fire and Rescue.
Michael has been battling cystic fibrosis since he was four months old, but his dad, a sergeant with the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, said it’s never stopped him from reaching his dreams.
“He finished the last fireman’s test on about 40% lung function and almost passed out a couple times, but he had a lot of heart and pushed through,” said Michael Bramhall, Sr.
In spite of his fighting spirit, Michael’s condition was getting worse.
“His lungs were collapsing a lot, and he was getting blood clots in his lungs, and his lungs were heavily infected,” his dad explained.
Michael had a double lung transplant at duke university hospital in Durham, North Carolina on August 22nd. He was discharged on September 6th, and got a ride home from some brothers at the Durham Fire Department.
“Just to see our whole community in Sarpy County, and Ralston, and Omaha and even our brotherhood, our fire brotherhood in Durham, North Carolina that’s taking care of him is amazing. We can’t thank any of these people enough,” said Lauryn Dewald, a fellow EMT at Ralston Fire and Rescue.
But while Michael’s health is improving every day, his journey isn’t over. He has to stay in Durham for check-ups.
“It’s six or eight months that the family is going to live in North Carolina, as opposed to here, and that’s a great expense for them. And we’re hoping to raise enough money to offset some of their personal expenses,” said Jeff Davis, Sarpy County Sheriff.
Michael’s brothers in blue and red, along with The Belvedere and Eddy’s Catering stepped up to help with a $10 spaghetti dinner, silent auction, raffle, and a meat wheel.
All the money goes to COTA, the Child Organ Transplant Association, to help the family with expenses like food, lodging and transportation as Michael recovers.
You can donate to COTA by clicking here.