BEY JOHNSON

Beltzhoover native who always helps others now awaits transplant

They say Bey Johnson has a big heart.

Here in Pittsburgh, the Beltzhoover resident has been involved in any number of charitable causes, helping others in any way possible.

He was involved in a Knoxville middle school summer basketball program in the late ‘90s, when he served as basketball coach for two summers.

Johnson assists with the Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, and the “Have a Heart, Help Heal a Heart” program.

“Have a Heart, Help Heal a Heart” is very near to Johnson. After all, he helped launch the program after what Johnson thought was “a stomach virus,” but that hospital visit last year revealed much more.

“It ended up being a virus,” Johnson told the New Pittsburgh Courier, “but it was a rhinovirus which attacks my heart, being that my immune system was already suppressed from my anti-rejection medication from my kidney transplant.”

Johnson, who’s complete name is Abeid Allimayu Johnson (but he’s known as “Bey”), underwent a kidney transplant on Christmas Day, 2008. The medication he takes as a result from the transplant allowed the new virus to attack Johnson’s heart. Doctors later revealed to him last year that he would need a heart transplant.

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