Kidney transplant bonds together two friends - KOAM TV 7

Kidney transplant bonds together two friends


Two friends from a Carl Junction church will now have a part of each other for the rest of their lives. After suffering complications with his kidney, Darrin Henry was forced to undergo a transplant and after no matches could be found within his family...a friend stepped in to help.

"I had to come to the realization I needed to do something. So, I started going through all the testing. You have to be healthy enough to get a kidney transplant. Your heart has to be healthy. You have to meet all the requirements before getting on the transplant list." Henry says.

Henry first noticed he may have a kidney problem when he was being treated for high blood pressure. It wasn't until he started noticing pain when he was moving his daughter to a new home that a doctor suggested the transplant.

After months of testing, Henry was added to a transplant list for a kidney.

"I turned it over to God and say there's nothing else I can do. So that's what I did." Henry says.

Henry's family members weren't suitable donors....and after 8 months, Jake Jones, a member of henry's church stepped in to donate his own kidney.

"It's like a gift that I got too because I get to see how his quality of life is better, with his grand kids and his kids, you know, and he's able to live it to the fullest" says Jones.

Jones' kidney was a match...and the operation was a success.

After a year of healthy living, the two decided to give back to the Midwest Transplant Network, hoping to educate communities about the importance of organ donation.

"People know how successful transplantation is and how many lives it actually touches because the real heroes are really the donor families." says Ray Gabel, of the Midwest Transplant Network, who is also a 22 year heart transplant survivor. His wife, Susan Gabel is also an 18 year successful liver transplant patient.

For Jake...he said it was simply no question, and has no regrets on the decision he made.

"I didn't really have any doubt that not only was I going to be able to donate my kidney to him, but that I was the right person at the right time." says Jones.

Both Henry and Jones have recovered from the transplant. A year later...Henry says he's never felt better, or healthier.

For more information on the Midwest Transplant Network, click here. Or copy this link into your browser:

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