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Va. officer with hepatitis C waits for liver transplant

Twenty years ago, he tried to save a life. Now he'll see who will try to save his.

By Hattie Brown Garrow
The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK, Va. — Kurt Beach, a rookie with the Smithfield Police Department, was the only officer working the midnight shift in February 1988 when a residential call came in. A child had stopped breathing.

Beach remembers hearing the mother's cries as he walked to the front door. In one of the bedrooms, a baby girl was lying on a bed, surrounded by medical equipment.

The baby suffered from the birth defect spina bifida and had undergone a tracheotomy, a surgery that makes an opening in the windpipe to better allow air into the lungs. Beach tried CPR.

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