Vietnam vet's family pleads for help finding liver transplant - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Vietnam vet's family pleads for help finding liver transplant


An East Texas soldier's effort to save his grandfather's life through organ donation has apparently come up short.

We introduced you to Army specialist Ricky Henderson and his grandfather, Rick Homer, last month.

Homer is a Vietnam veteran who needs a liver transplant.

Henderson was prepared to donate his liver, but recently found out he can't go through with the donation.

The Homer family is dealing with a solemn acceptance: Rick will once again have to wait for a liver transplant.

"Ricky was a match but now there’s a problem with his platelets; the military is going to do some further testing," says Homer's daughter Mindy Odle.

When Henderson spoke with us from Baylor Medical Center in March, he was sure tests would show he could save his grandfather.

"I want my grandfather to get better. I want to do this for him," Ricky said.

He was crushed by the news.

"He was in tears, and told me in tears that he could not donate to his granddaddy. I said 'Did you tell your granddaddy?' and he said 'No, I can't.' So I had to call," Odle says.

"Well, it's indescribable, it to me wasn't nearly as bad as last fall, laying on a table. Believe in the Lord. He'll do it in his time not your time," Homer says.

"It was a letdown of course; he thought he was going to get better. He had his hopes high to be able to help his granddad. Beyond anything he wanted to do that. So we are back and waiting," says Homer's wife , Judy.

Henderson is now back in Afghanistan, but not without getting more news.

"He found out the day he left for Afghanistan that he's going to be a daddy," Mindy says.

It's back to square one for Homer, but he says what his grandson tried to do is enough.

"Thanks for trying grandson. I ain't licked yet; the good Lord's looking after me," Homer says.

If you'd like to know more about Rick Homer's condition and his search for a transplant, we've posted a link to his website on;  just click on The Big Red Box on the home page.

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