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The painstaking effort of a devoted husband on a mission to find a kidney donor for his sick wife has finally borne fruit!
Larry Swilling of South Carolina grabbed eyeballs worldwide last year when he took to the roads with a sandwich board displaying the message 'NEED KIDNEY 4 WIFE' to search for an organ donor.
Apparently, his spouse Jimmy Sue’s health was in jeopardy as she was born with only one kidney and that too was failing. Today, Larry is extremely happy man after his wife successfully underwent surgery on Wednesday.
Sue stated, "I knew it was going to happen, cause I know him. He wouldn't have stopped until he got me one."
Larry takes to the streets
Jimmy was well aware of the fact that Sue health was failing and she was in dire need for a replacement since she was undergoing dialysis three times a week for the past year. He had hoped to donate a kidney to his wife himself, but unfortunately, neither he nor any of their three children have the right blood type.
Unable to bear the thought of losing his wife of 57 years Larry was determined to do something to find a kidney donor. Despite being in his sunset years, the courageous man started walking all over his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina, literally begging for a kidney.
"I had to do something," he said. "She looks after me, and I look after her."
Finds donor after 1 year
The response to his appeal was tremendous and the couple was flooded with nearly 2000 offers even from Germany, Switzerland and Jamaica. A few hundred also went through the testing to see if they were a match.
His wait was finally over after one whole year when 41-year-old retired Navy lieutenant commander Kelly Weaverling volunteered and proved to be a perfect match. After reading about Larry’s admirable endeavor online, Kelly was so moved that she came forward to help.
"Have you ever just had a feeling that was just a strong gut feeling that you just went with your instinct, because you just knew it was right?" Kelly stated. "That's exactly what happened. I could do something to give this family hope."
Kelly flew to Anderson, South Carolina earlier this week to meet the Swillings and on Wednesday, one of her kidneys was successfully transplanted into Sue at the Medical University of South Carolina.
"I told her I was going to give her the biggest hug she’d ever had in her life," Larry told The Virginian Pilot. "And I did."