Man gives gift of life to fellow church member
Updated: Tuesday, April 16 2013, 10:52 PM EDT
PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It’s being called a modern day miracle, after a Kalamazoo woman in need of a kidney transplant beat the odds.
The kidney donated from a church member she had only known for a few short weeks.
In a small room of just 30, a modern day miracle helped Jean James beat 3 million-to-1 odds.
"It was breathtaking, that's just the only way i can describe it,” James said. “It was just the most wonderful news."
It’s still hard for Jean to put it into words.
"I still get this 'I can't believe it's happening to me feeling,'” she said.
Just this February she learned that she’d be receiving a kidney from a donor in her church congregation at Victory Baptist in Kalamazoo—a man she’d only known for three weeks.
"There was no point in time where I felt like we were strangers even though it had been a short point in time where we had known each other,” said her donor, Dale Mentor.
Doctors told jean—whose kidneys failed unexpectedly two years ago—she'd likely be on the transplant list for 7-10 years.
After months of dialysis three days a week, she says a higher power stepped in, saving her life.
"God struck my heart that was what I needed to do...so I approached her," Dale said. "It was about someone else's need and I have the ability to take care of that need."
Now they share a bond they say runs deeper than a kidney. The two are joined forever in faith, and consider each other family.
"I have two brothers and a sister, and I had none before," Jean said.
Mentor says his father died of kidney disease back in 1992, and it played a role in his decision to become an organ donor.
As for James, she's visiting the doctor every few weeks, and tells us she can't thank Mentor enough for his gift of life.