Former Dallas Cowboys running back Ron Springs died on Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 54.
Springs has been in a coma since 2007 after he went into cardiac arrest during a surgery to remove a cyst from his elbow. Springs made headlines when his life was saved by former teammate and best friend Everson Walls who donated his kidney to Springs.
Walls and Springs later started a foundation tho help others and the two even wrote a book about their journey together.
In 2004 Ron refused to accept a kidney from his son NFL player Shawn Springs because it would have ended his playing career, it was in March 2006 that Springs received the kidney from Walls.
Springs suffered from diabetes for 20 years which caused not only his kidney to fail but amputation of his right foot and the big and middle toes on his left foot. The disease also caused his hands to curl into knots. He had been in a wheelchair and had been receiving dialysis three times a week before the transplant.
“My husband was doing well after the kidney transplant,” said Ron’s wife Adriane a few years ago. “This is just a very tragic outcome.” Springs family filed a malpractice suit in January 2008 against the two doctors who performed Ron’s surgery. Springs attended Coffeyville College before transferring to Ohio State for his final three season where he played under Woody Hayes.
Springs was drafted in 1979 out of Ohio State and played alongside Tony Dorsett, he left for Tampa in1985 and played 2 season’s there. Springs ran for 2,519 yards, had 2,259 receiving yards and had 10 touchdowns in his NFL career.
In the 4 seasons Walls and Springs played together they became the best of friends and created a bond that would never be broken. Springs is even the godfather to Wells oldest daughter, while Wells is the godfather to Springs youngest child. Springs is survived by his wife Adriane; Son Shawn;and daughters Ayra and Ashley.
Shawn Springs played at Ohio State just like his dad and played last season for the New England Patriots. “[Adriane] never gave up hope,” Walls said. ” She wanted him to be in a better place and she wanted him to be in her arms. She is a spiritual person and knows he is in a better place now.”
Springs and Walls created the Gift for Life Foundation, which aims to educate people on preventing chronic kidney diseases and living donations process. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Springs family and to all of those who knew Ron and were helped by his fight.
I may have never seen him play but I can say I was truly touched by his fight and story. To have a friendship like what Ron shared with Everson is something that we can only pray to have in our lives. Ron is in a better place where he is no longer in pain and now had a front row seat to watch his son play, his daughters grow and his wife and family continue to live life as he would of wanted to.
This Cowboys fan will truly miss you and truly salutes you for your tremendous fight.