BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jeff Hartley gets emotional talking about the day he met Kevin Hill; a stranger in need of a life saving kidney.
Jeff is a furniture salesman at Rooms-to-Go in Hoover. He meets dozens of strangers every day but back in February of 2018 there was something different about Kevin. He came to the store looking for a mattress to ease his pain from long hours of kidney dialysis. Jeff says, "When he shared with me what he was going through I could see that he was dying. And I couldn’t stand idly by and watch. I felt a question rising up in my spirit that asked, if I could do something to save this man’s life, would I?”
The answer is “yes”.
Less than a year after they met Jeff donated a kidney to Kevin in surgery at UAB. Jeff was back at work in just two weeks. Those two weeks saved Kevin’s life.
Kevin wears a t-shirt with bold letters reading “Living Proof”. Jeff’s t-shirt responds with “Giving Proof”. Kevin explains that the surgery changed his life and that of his daughter. “I have a little 18 month old daughter. That’s one of the most powerful things. Jeff gave me the ability to be around for her.”
Kevin is now into his fourth month with a new kidney and says he has a new lease on life. “I feel great. The quality of life that I have now is so much better. I can finally get back to things that I do and do well. I can finally work again. I can finally be a dad again, I can finally be a boyfriend again and not be so depressed and not be in so much pain.”
These two strangers are now forever linked with both of their lives changed in profound ways. Strangers are now brothers. Kevin tearfully says, “I love you brother. I couldn’t have done this without you. Thanks for being such an ambassador for people like me who need a kidney.”
Jeff says, “It was definitely a God thing. He intended for this to happen.”
Jeff has become an advocate for the thousands of people who are waiting for a kidney donor. In fact, April is “Donate Life Month”. If you’d like to know more about becoming an organ donor yourself follow this link.
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