When Terri Herrington’s husband Bryan died 16 years ago, she dreamed about the day that she and her husband would be together again.
Technically that’s finally happened now that she’s donated her kidney to the same man that her husband donated his organs to when he passed away.
“Jeff will still have Bryan’s pancreas,” Terri said in a press release, according to People. “In a way, we’d be back together again.”
Today it would have been 21 years. This man always has my heart, no matter what the future brings. Life is precious and…
Bryan donated his heart, lungs, kidney, pancreas, and liver when he died in a workplace accident at the age of 35.
His donation saved the lives of four people, one of whom was Jeffery Granger.
He got Brian’s pancreas and kidney. Prior to that, Jeffery was an insulin-dependent diabetic for 28 years.
“I went off dialysis. I went off insulin,” Jeffery told Good Morning America” “It was like somebody opened the gate and set me free.”
Terri, who was left to raise a 5-year-old and 2-month-old on her own after her Bryan died, wanted to meet those whose lives were saved by her husband’s organ donation. Terri met Jeffery and his family about a year after the transplant.
There is a great video with this one. #DonateLife #organdonation #livingdonor #roadtodonate registerMe.orghttps://www.wcax.com/content/news/Florida-man-gets-gift-of-life-twice-from-same-family-571424981.html
“My son when he was a toddler he put his hand on Jeff’s stomach and asked him, ‘Is my dad in there?’ and Jeff said, ‘Yes he is and I’m going to keep him alive as long as possible,'” Terri said. “It started out as a healing process because you realize your husband has helped all these people continue in their lives.”
Over time, the families became friends.
But Jeffery started to get sick again and had to go back on dialysis because his kidney transplant was failing.
“It was very hard to tell her I needed a new kidney,” said Jeffery said of breaking the news to Terri. “I didn’t want to break her heart because it’s another piece of Brian that has left.”
By that point, Terri had already thought of becoming a living kidney donor and told Jeffery she was willing to get tested.
“He just didn’t believe me I guess because about a month later he put on Facebook that he was in search of a kidney that was A+ [blood type] and I’m like, ‘Dude, did you think I was kidding when I said I was considering this?'” Terri said.
Posted by Terri Herrington on Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Coincidentally, Terri ended up being a perfect match for Jeffrey just like her husband was.
So, they underwent transplant surgery at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida in March. Even their doctors were shocked by the coincidence of their story.
“I’ve been doing this about 25 years and I have not seen this combination,” said surgeon Dr. Kenneth Andreoni. “I’ve heard a lot of unusual stories [kidney donations] but this one I had not heard of before.”
The surgeon actually ended up leaving Bryan’s failed kidney in Jeffrey’s body, a common practice, and placed Terri’s kidney next to it.
“We are right next to each other helping him live,” said Terri. “It’s kind of neat. My sister-in-law said, ‘Now you and your husband are back together.'”
Terri, who is an ambassador for the United Network for Organ Sharing, said she didn’t think twice about offering up her kidney to Jeffrey.
Especially since her late husband was such a “very giving person.”
And Jeffrey, of course, was more than grateful to Terri for giving him his freedom and another chance to live out his life.
“This girl was an angel. She’s a single parent, and God’s gift of a parent, too,” Jeffrey said. “I don’t know how I could thank her, or repay her for such a wonderful, life-giving gift. It’s kind of a miracle, you know?”
Learn more about this amazing story in the video below.
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