A widow has donated a kidney to the man who received her late husband’s organ 16 years ago – and they now both sit side by side in his body.
Bryan Herrington was 35 when he fell to his death from a rooftop while at work in 2004, leaving behind his wife Terri, now 49.
His organs went to help four people in need, including Jeff Granger, 59, who received Bryan’s kidney and pancreas.
Terri and Jeff kept in touch and he and his wife Pam became firm friends with the family, including Bryan’s sons Drake, now 21, and Payton, now 16.
So when Jeff fell ill again, 16 years after Bryan’s donation, Terri stepped in and gave him one of her kidneys.
Speaking to the Real Fix Podcast, Terri told how she felt when she heard Jeff needed help.
Terri, from Florida, USA, said: “It was like losing Bryan all over again.
“I had already started to think about becoming a living donor. We had talked about it before, but nothing came to fruition.
“Then Jeff posted it on Facebook and I thought ‘Hello? What part of ‘I was going to give you a new kidney’ did you not get?
“He didn’t think I was serious, but I was. He was in shock that I would consider it.
“I was going to do it for a stranger, so I may as well give it to someone who already was part of the family.
“When we found out we were the perfect match I called him up and asked if he wanted a piece of me. And he just went ‘Sure’!”
Bryan, a roofer, fell from a home he was working on in July 2004 and hit his head.
He was pronounced brain dead at the hospital and died the following day.
Terri said her husband had always been willing to be a donor, so she decided to fulfill his wishes.
Meanwhile Jeff, then 39, found out his kidneys were failing due to diabetes, and while he was able to have dialysis, he needed a transplant to live longer.
Jeff received Bryan’s pancreas and kidney, while three other people got his heart, lungs and liver.
The laws in America, mean Terri was able to write to the recipients, and she heard back from Jeff, who thanked her for her husband’s gift of life.
Jeff’s donated kidney failed in January 2019, so he started dialysis again, and he appealed on Facebook as the hunt for another donor began.
But he didn’t have to look far, because Terri offered him her kidney, and in October last year, she was told she was a match.
Speaking to the podcast, which helps people share their own stories, in their own words, she said: “If you’re healthy enough and you have something that somebody else can extend their life, why not donate?
“I would give anything to have my husband back and I’m sure anybody on the waiting list would give anything just to have more time.”
The pair had their successful surgeries in March this year and they speak nearly every day.
She told the podcast, which features extraordinary real life stories: “My kidney wouldn’t fit anywhere except beside Bryan’s kidney. Bryan’s kidney is still there, but it’s just not working.
“The only place it would fit was right beside it. It really is a bizarre thing to think about.