Acts of Kindness
Man donates part of his liver to baby in intensive care after donating his kidney to his best friend
One of the most selfless humans I've ever seen.
Caryl Jane Espiritu
12.26.22

Have you ever tried donating a part of yourself to someone who needs it?

YouTube - ABC7
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YouTube - ABC7

Organ donation is one thing that can save the life of another, and while this may be honorable, not everyone has the courage to literally give a part of themselves away to another person. Donating an organ to a family member such as a sibling may be a bit easier knowing you are helping your own family. But what about donating your organs to someone not even related to you?

It is definitely a challenge and something that only the most courageous and kind will be able to accomplish, especially if the recipient is not in your family tree.

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YouTube - ABC7

As hard as it may be, there are still a lot of people out there who are not afraid to do this because they can help and they want to help. One of these folks is Josh Harrold from Southern California.

The man is perfectly healthy, and this makes him a viable donor for organs. Years ago, he made a huge sacrifice after deciding to donate his kidney to his best friend. And now, he also donated a portion of his liver to help a baby under intensive care in the hospital.

YouTube - ABC7
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YouTube - ABC7

The people he donated his organ to was not his blood relative, just like the child he is about to help.

Josh shares that he wants to help because he knew how it felt to be helpless when your loved ones are sick and there is nothing you can do for them. His wife, Erica, had a brain tumor and the doctors told them that her situation was quite dire.

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YouTube - ABC7

“Everywhere we went, every neurosurgeon was telling us, ‘I’m sorry. Your tumor is inoperable. You have maybe two to four years to live. We can do chemo, but that’s all we can do. But we came to USC and the neurosurgeon was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’,” shared Josh.

Erica’s surgery was successful. This inspired Josh to help those in medical emergencies in any way he can and be part of the good news doctors tell their patients.

YouTube - ABC7
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YouTube - ABC7

Back in 2017, Josh decided to donate his kidney to his best friend, Kelly Van Den Berghe. The woman had polycystic kidney disease which meant she had to undergo dialysis regularly unless she gets a transplant.

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YouTube - ABC7

Josh somehow knew he would be a match, but he did not push through with the donation without his wife’s consent. Erica knew her husband well and she also knew how much he wanted to help.

“I was like, ‘Erica, did you happen to see Kelly’s post?’ And Erica looked at me and was like, ‘You want to do it don’t you?’”

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YouTube - ABC7

The kidney transplant went well and Kelly’s life was saved by his selfless friend.

When Josh’s daughter was born, the baby had to undergo intensive care because of her premature birth. This exposed Josh to what took place in the children’s unit in the hospital which led him to register himself as an organ donor for children.

YouTube - ABC7
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YouTube - ABC7

After a few years, he now donates about 25% of his liver to a little girl who is not even a year old. She is practically a stranger, but Josh is determined to help her.

“I went in for a battery of tests and luckily everything matched out. It seems like I’m this baby’s perfect match,” Josh shared. His liver is expected to regenerate within six weeks after the surgery.

YouTube - ABC7
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YouTube - ABC7

The world truly needs more people like Josh. His selflessness and genuine concern for others are unbelievable and extremely inspiring.

Check out more details about this story by watching the video below.

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By Caryl Jane Espiritu
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Caryl Jane Espiritu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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