- Lashonda Pugh/Facebook
- Six months ago, Starr Gardy saw a sign that she says changed the course of her life, she told Good Morning America.
- The sign was on the window of Lashonda Pugh’s car, asking for someone to donate their kidney to her son Daniel Jones Jr.
- Jones lives with Alport syndrome, which is progressive kidney disease.
- After seeing the sign Gardy, a mom of two herself, decided to donate her kidney to Jones.
- The families met for the first time at the hospital on the day of the surgery. It was a success!
Six months ago, Starr Gardy saw a physical sign that she says changed the course of her life. Parked outside a Walmart, she saw a car with a message scrawled across the rear window.
“It said, ‘Please help. My son needs a kidney,’ and gave his blood type,” Gardy told Good Morning America. “I just froze, and I felt so moved and thought, ‘What if I could help?'”
In a Facebook post, she elaborated: “I was immediately moved and could not shake the feeling that I was the one who could help this person. I started the process of donating a kidney and it has been a roller coaster of emotions for me leading up to May 1.”
That car belonged to Lashonda Pugh, who worked at the Walmart. Pugh’s son, Daniel Jones Jr., lives with Alport syndrome, which is progressive kidney disease. The syndrome also causes hearing loss and problems with the eyes, according to tot he NIH.
Jones, 23, had been diagnosed with the disease as a teen and had been treating it with dialysis since three times a week March 2017, when his health took a turn, ABC 4 News reported.
That’s when Pugh decided to put the message on her car.
“I was heartbroken,” Pugh said. “I felt like I couldn’t help him. Being his mother, I was going to do what I could to get him through this sickness.”
In the two years since that first handwritten message scrawled in marker, Pugh has updated the message to a full-on wrap, complete with a picture of her son.
But it would be nearly two years until Gardy, who has two children of her own, saw it and intervened.
“I [asked] my kids, ‘How would you feel if mommy donated a kidney to somebody?’ They were both OK with it and my husband was like, ‘Whatever you want to do is fine with me,'” Gardy told GMA. “I think later on he started to feel super moved by it all too.”
So they went through with it.
At this time, it seems that the procedure was a success.
Both families met for the first time afterward at Charleston Hospital, Pugh told GMA.
“It felt like she was family,” Pugh said. “We hugged and cried and I thanked her for giving my son a second chance at life.”
“Meeting Daniel and his family was more than I could have ever imagined,” Gardy wrote on Facebook. “They are the sweetest, most kind family and I feel so grateful to have our families instantly connected. This reward of love is the best reward of all. I’m so proud to say Daniel’s new kidney started to work in him immediately.”
Jones said the whole thing felt like “a dream come true.”
He continued: “I can’t repay her for it, so all I could do is thank her.”
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