June 14, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Heart recipient thanks police, University for intervention
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - "Thank you for looking and for finding me and for all my gifts," heart transplant recipient John-Paul May, 10, said in a thank you card he recently presented to Slippery Rock University Police Officer Tyler Gray and Pennsylvania State Police for their heroics.
May also sent a thank you card to University President Robert Smith to thank him for a note of encouragement and an SRU baseball cap he sent to him when he was in the hospital.
The Harrisville boy has come full circle in five weeks. It was May 5 that Officer Gray and state police interrupted an SRU Jazz Festival concert to find John-Paul because a heart was waiting for him at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
John-Paul got through the surgery and is recuperating at home.
Last week, John-Paul, Gray and state police Cpl. James Green and Trooper Dan Mosura reunited at the Butler police barracks for the first time since the surgery. "He gave us a thank you card, he was excited to meet us again," Gray said. "He looks great."
John-Paul got to sit in a police car, use its radio and play with the lights. Police gave him a tour of the barracks as well.
"The boy and his mother wanted to thank everyone who helped at the University that day," Gray said.
Gray said he was on patrol May 5 when University dispatch Officer Wayne Cochran radioed the call to find John-Paul. Police used cell phone technology to trace the Mays to campus.
"It was good police work," Gray said. "Everybody gave the correct information, and we were able to find him that quickly. It's good to help somebody."
John-Paul May's mother, Sue May, said her son is doing great. The two plan to attend the Musicians Band Concert Friday night at SRU's Miller Auditorium.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.