Adventures of a Kidney Donor

September 15, 2013

Need Kidney 4 Wife

kidney 4 wife

Larry and his sign, CBS News

Kidney donation stories always make me cry, (no surprise) and this one REALLY hits home.  You may have heard about his story. Larry Swilling has been married to his wife Jimmy Sue for 57 years. When Jimmy Sue’s kidneys failed, Larry knew he had to get her a kidney. So the 77 year old took to the streets–literally.

He walked the streets of his hometown Anderson South Carolina with a large sandwich board sign simply reading: “Need Kidney  4 Wife” and his telephone number. His wide needed a transplant and he wasn’t shy. It was the walk of his life–and hers. “I had to do something,” he said. “She looks after me, and I look after her.”

More than 100 people got tested to see if they were a match due to Larry’s efforts. Finally after a year a match was found, 41-year-old retired Navy lieutenant commander Kelly Weaverling. The surgeries took place September 11th and well.

Larry says he has two new missions: to find other donors for other people, and to find a way to properly thank the woman who gave him his wife back. His first mission is already yielding results; many people have stepped forward to get tested for live donation and/or are registering to be organ donors as a result of his story.

As for thanking Kelly, she says simply: “Just take care of your wife,” Kelly replied. “Just take care of her.” Steve Hartman, who reported this story says: “Doubt that’ll be a problem.”

Kidney heroes Larry Kelly and Jimmy Sue, CBS News

Kidney heroes Larry Kelly and Jimmy Sue, CBS News

I am SO happy that this story had a happy ending.  People in need of organs shouldn’t have to resort to such desperate measures. One way to keep people off of the streets with sandwich boards? REGISTER TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR, and encourage friends, family and co-workers to do so!

Join the Michigan Registry or Join the Registry in your state.

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

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