Landon Nuss was always the first person classmates at Warwick High School would expect to give out compliments and a smile when he passed them in the halls.
“Everyone knew Landon, everyone loved him,” said former classmate Taylor Calta, now a sophomore at Temple.
Nuss was died tragically over the weekend after he fell one story from a stairwell in Kardon Atlantic Apartments on Saturday morning, Sept. 28. However, in what one friend said is a testament to his personality, Nuss’ last gift of organ donation saved the life of another beloved resident of his hometown of Lititz, Pa.
Nuss, 19, had graduated from Warwick High School in 2012 and was visiting friends at Temple this weekend when tragedy struck. Acting Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said police and Philadelphia fire crews were called to the apartment complex around 1 a.m. Saturday morning where they found Nuss in a brick fire tower where he had fallen from the stairs. Fire crews transported Nuss to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was placed in critical condition.
A spokeswoman for Kardon Atlantic Apartments, which is operated by PMC Property Group, could not be reached for comment by time of press. CSS is still awaiting toxicology reports, though Leone said Nuss was just smoking in the stairwell when the accident occurred.
University Communications released a statement Monday in which officials extended sympathy to Nuss’ family and friends.
Calta said she and other friends of Nuss tried to visit him in the hospital while he was in a coma over the weekend, but the the hospital did not allow the friends in to see him.
Nuss was pronounced dead early Sunday morning after being put into a medically induced coma, Leone said. The next day, the 19-year-old organ donor had his liver given to a family friend, who family members say is now expected to make a recovery from a long-term illness, Calta said.
Nuss donated his liver to the father of his cousin’s best-friend, who had been suffering from chronic liver disease prior to undergoing an eight-hour surgery Monday in order to receive Nuss’ gift.
“We all know this is what he wanted,” Calta said. “He was not selfish.”
Calta called the surgery “a success,” and that people from their hometown have been responding to the story on social media.
“Everyone is calling him a ‘hero’” Calta said.
John Moritz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU.