Mike Craig was a high school science teacher who loved helping young people in and out of the classroom. He considered himself one of the luckiest people in the world to be able to work and help kids in a formative part in their lives and to be with his own two children, Molly and Chris.
Mike also loved coaching, whether it was varsity football, basketball or track. He had been a great athlete himself, especially in basketball, which he played in both high school and college. But his favorite sport to coach was football. He coached his own son throughout high school in football and helped the team make the school’s first-ever playoff appearance in 2002.
When Chris graduated from high school in 2003, Mike was thrilled to hand his son his diploma during graduation. Two weeks later, Mike, 51, was fatally electrocuted while working on the air conditioner at his home. In his passing, he became a tissue donor.
When Chris went to the College of Wooster to play football, he became best friends with Mike Vyrostek, who was a tight end on the team. During their sophomore year, Mike tore his ACL for the third time and with no tissue to transplant from his own hamstring, he would need tissue from a deceased donor.
When Mike Craig’s wife Gail heard of Mike Vyrostek’s need, she called Lifeline of Ohio to see if any of her husband’s donated tissue had not yet been transplanted and if it would be possible to have a direct donation to Mike Vyrostek. Remarkably, the tissue was available and matched, making possible the first directed tissue donation facilitated by Lifeline of Ohio. The surgery was a total success. Mike Vyrostek was again able to play the game he loved and Mike Craig’s tissue made that possible. On New Year’s Day, Mike Vyrostek will ride the Donate Life float beneath a floral portrait of his donor, Mike Craig.