Former Danville Firefighter Getting Help From the Community

Danville, VA - Gerald Yeatts was diagnosed with Hepatitis C after he says he contracted it while working at the fire department.

Yeatts, however, looks back at his 30 years serving at the Danville Fire Department with nothing but joy.

"I was a driver most of the time. And I love driving my truck," Yeatts said.

Over the past few months, however, his memories have been clouded with doctor's visits, surgery, and then recovery.

"I've had a lot of pain, and been through a lot of things. But it's getting better and better every day," Yeatts said.

Yeatts contracted Hepatitis C decades ago, he assumes while working at the fire department once they started doing EMS calls.

"We didn't wear the rubber gloves and all back then like they do now. And we really didn't know there was that big of a need for it," Yeatts explained.

He lived with the illness for years and retired on disability.

It was later when Yeatts found out that Hepatitis caused cirrhosis of his liver, which put him on the transplant list.

"I got a phone call from a nurse and she said Mr. Yeatts we got a liver for you. Can you be here in four hours?," Yeatts said.

"Immediately after the transplant you could just tell such a big difference," Yeatts' Son Josh Yeatts said.

With a new liver, there are a lot of new expenses, though.

The community has come forward to help Yeatts out. He has received donations from firefighters and even from strangers.

"It just reestablishes your faith in mankind," Yeatts said.

Yeatts says he could not have gone through the ordeal without prayers, but the well wishes have made it a whole lot easier. He says he is feeling much better now, and wishes he could be back on that fire truck working.

If you want to help, you can reach Yeatts at 2294 Hunters Lane, Blairs, VA, 24527. His phone number is (434) 836-1612.