BOLTON – The staff and faculty give a heart about one of their own getting a heart of his own.
Nashoba Regional High School Social Study teacher Mike Poirier had heart issues starting in 2017 and has been on a waiting list for a new heart since before the COVID pandemic hit. They moved him up the list in late spring and he got his new heart on June 1.
“I feel better each day, walking more, breathing better, not quite as overwhelmed at times, looking forward to a summer to rest, rehab and relax in order to get back to normal,” Poirier said.
Over the past few years, the staff and faculty of Nashoba have had a couple of fundraisers to support the American Heart Association, in honor of Poirier. One raised $ 1,000. In the most recent ones, the staff made T-shirts with a superhero logo for Poirier Warriors, raising over $ 2,500 for the American Heart Association.
“We all felt helpless and wished we could do something for him. The fundraisers gave us a sense of purpose and the T-shirts a sense of togetherness. I think everyone would agree that this has brought us closer as a staff,” one staff member said.
“On June 16, we all gathered, wearing school gear. Or Poirier Warrior gear,” and shaped a human heart on the athletic field. They took the picture to send to Poirier in the hospital.
Poirier said the support of the staff has been helpful getting through the last couple of years.
“It has been so incredible and I am so humbled by the unbelievable amount of love and support I have received over the past five years since my initial cardiac arrest in 2017, to getting on the organ transplant list two years to today with my replacement heart , “he said.
Poirier has been teaching at Nashoba for 17 years, and “hopefully good for at least a dozen more.” He said his co-workers, friends and colleagues are “the most impressive group of folks I have had the pleasure to work with and I look forward to seeing them again, on a full-time basis, after the first of next year.”
The heart from the staff meant a lot, he said.
“I cried, quite a lot. It was very emotional and again I am just so happy I work with such amazing people day in and day out within both the building itself and the community that supports it,” Poirier said. “It was very special.”