Wise County

Carter County man gets new kidney for Christmas

Online organ donation

WISE, Va. - In this season of giving, what are you willing to give to another? Would you be willing to give a kidney to a total stranger? That's what's happened recently in our region.

A young woman who felt compelled to be an organ donor changed the life of another and created a lasting bond between the two.

A young mother who's returned to the University of Virginia's College at Wise for a nursing degree in Virginia and a man from Carter County Tennessee share something very personal -- a kidney.

The two met on a web site called MatchingDonors.com.

Bobby Oliver's family has a history of kidney disease; his father had died of the disease when he was just 30. "I did dialysis two years. It was two years in October when I got the kidney," Bobby said.

That kidney came from a complete stranger he met online. "It seemed like everyone on that website was actually looking for a kidney, and I signed up to donate a kidney. That's how I met Bobby," donor Destiny Baker says.

But why would a young mother with an already busy life stop and give such an unbelievable gift to another? "I thought it was such a beautiful thing. I wondered if I could do something like that, and of course I'm going into nursing and I'd had anatomy. I had researched a little bit about it, and I felt confident I could do it. So I did," she said.

"The doctors couldn't even believe it at UT. [They asked], 'A stranger is going to give you a kidney?'" Bobby adds.

It was Bobby's profile on the website, the fact that there wasn't a lot of travel involved and pictures of his grandchildren, that sealed the deal. "He wanted to see his grandkids grow up and go to college, and get married. Destiny saw that and she said she wanted to do that, because her mother had passed away and didn't get to see her grandchildren grow up. She wanted to do this," Bobby's wife Connie said.

"You should work to make the world a better place. You work to bring the kingdom of Heaven here, and you do that by just being good to people and alleviate suffering. Just find ways to help people," Destiny said.

It was a story that seems like it was meant to be, kind of like Destiny.

For more information about matching donors click here.

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