A woman in South Carolina made the decision to donate her kidney to someone she didn’t know after seeing a heartfelt request written on the man’s mother’s car.
Daniel Jones has been undergoing dialysis for years and was in desperate need for a kidney transplant.
Starr Gardy said that a higher power moved her to donate her kidney and the transplant occurred on May 1, ending in success.
West Ashley mom donates kidney to stranger in need https://t.co/3lrKBgJOiC
— J.Robinson (@KidneyMentor) May 4, 2019
According to ABC News it was not easy to find a match, but Jones and Gardy seemed to somehow have a connection.
About six months ago, Gardy stopped at Walmart and parked next to the car that had the handwritten message on it’s back. After Gardy got in touch to offer her kidney, several months of testing and preparation transpired before the surgery took place, in order to ensure it’s positive result.
There was a highly probability that the two would never get to know each other, as hospitals keep confidentiality over donor and recipient information for safety and privacy reasons.
Jones’ mother, Lashonda Pugh, had been working in Walmart for 14 years.
“God came to me and was like you have to put the message out there,” she said. “I don’t think, if I didn’t put that message on my vehicle, my son’s angel would not be here today giving him a kidney.”
— Keleigh Gibbs (@KGibbsKMBC) May 4, 2019
When Gardy saw the message, she couldn’t stop thinking about it and felt the necessity to help.
“I can’t really explain it, it just completely moved me, I took a picture of it and I went in Walmart and I was shopping and all I could picture someone in there who had this weight on their shoulders,” Gardy said.
Gardy donated her kidney through the living donor program from the Medical University of South Carolina.
— MUSC Public Affairs and Media Relations (@MUSCPR) May 2, 2019
Jones and Gardy did get to meet for the first time on May 2, as it turned out that they both lived in West Ashley. “It’s a lot knowing that I have her organ in my body,” Jones said. “We’re family now. She’s not just a stranger anymore, she’s my aunt.” There were a lot of tears and hugs.
Organ donation is usually more tolling on the donor than on the recipient. It will take about six weeks for Gardy to recover from the surgery.
“I want him to be able to do all the things he wants to do, I just want him to be able to live and have a good life,” Gardy said. “I told him if you start to like wine now, I’m sorry,” she said amid laughter. “Yes, I’m his aunt now, I’m Aunt Starr.”
Jones will go home on the weekend and wants to travel and be as active as possible—something he hasn’t been able to do for several years.
Daniel Jones, 24, was in desperate need of a kidney, so much so that his mom put information on the back of her vehicle asking for help. One woman responded, and he had a chance to meet her after she saved his life. https://t.co/HIlpNAEqsj
— KCRG (@KCRG) May 4, 2019
Two strangers now bonded forever. A West Ashley woman saw this message on a car in a Walmart parking lot..and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Today, 24-year-old Daniel Jones met his kidney donor, Starr. They’re both recovering at @MUSChealth @ABCNews4 #chsnews pic.twitter.com/ws7a1v2QOZ
— Caroline Balchunas (@carolinebTV) May 2, 2019