One needn’t be religious or even spiritual to recognize the extraordinary way we are all connected as human beings.
We’ve all seen or heard about someone who “gave their all” in a moment of exceptional difficulty. The parent who lifts a car to save a child trapped underneath (or the child who lifts a car to save a parent). The brave soul who puts themselves in front of an armed gunman to protect total strangers. A soldier who dives onto a live grenade to save his brothers in arms.
Some people call this “fate” or “divine intervention” – others call it “divine coincidence.” Some call the source “Universe,” “God,” or nothing at all.
We all see love – and we all see sacrifice.
This is one such story that defies almost impossible odds.
It’s also a story of sacrifice and loving kindness.
Where’s that music coming from?
Don and Belinda Herbert were searching for yard sales when they overheard some lovely gospel music coming from somewhere. Soon after realizing it was a church, the couple felt compelled to go inside. As it would turn out, this decision changed Don’s life.
Soon upon entering the church, Don met Pastor Tim Jones. Don, being a gospel singer himself, inquired about the music. Pastor Jones’ singing quartet was preparing for an upcoming revival and invited Don to partake.
Don’s health deteriorates
Don Herbert was fighting for his life. For years, Don had suffered from a life-threatening condition which was getting worse. A couple of months before meeting Pastor Jones, Don underwent a liver transplant to stabilize his deteriorating condition.
The transplant failed to stabilize anything. Soon, Don’s kidneys began failing.
“I had a strong faith that God was going to take care of me no matter what happened,” Don said. Still, Don struggled with doubt: “I can’t believe that God’s brought me through this major transplant, and now here I am, facing something like this.”
Doctors at Duke University’s Medical Center found the underlying cause: narrowing of the heart’s arteries which were restricting blood flow. The doctors told Don that treating the condition would require coronary angioplasty – a costly procedure. But there was worse news: Don’s kidneys wouldn’t allow the treatment.
Not giving up
Belinda went on Facebook to plead for help:
“I am willing to be the donor but I do not have insurance coverage and we can not afford it. It is so hard to ask something so tremendous and so humbling but I want the man I love to live a long life. I do want to grow old with him by my side.
I am asking for help! If anyone would be interested in being the donor or help organize fundraisers or donate to raise funds to purchase insurance for me just long enough to get through the testing please message me.”
The pain and desperation is evident in Belinda’s message. Fortunately for her, the right man saw the message.
1 in 20,000
Pastor Jones read Belinda’s Facebook message and was incredibly moved – and made the decision to become the donor.
When the test results came back, the results were astounding. The battery of tests, which include blood and tissue sampling, were a “perfect match.”
The odds of blood-type, tissue-type, cross-matching (how the blood will react to the donor’s organ), and other miscellaneous tests? 1 in 20,000 – or .005 percent.
Pastor Willingly Donated His Kidney To A Stranger And Saved Two Lives Instead
2 lives for 1
The most sensational discovery came on the day of surgery. When the surgical team went in to remove Pastor Jones’ kidney, they discovered an aneurysm (ballooning of a major artery) behind his kidney that could have been fatal.
The doctors were able to treat Jones’ aneurysm, remove his perfectly healthy kidney, and successfully transfer the organ into Don Herbert’s body.
“Tim, you saved Don’s life today, but in the process, you saved your own!” Jones’ doctors told him.
The song that was playing when Don walked into Pastor Tim’s church? ‘Sow Mercy’ by the Gaither Vocal Band – which happened to be the Pastor’s favorite song.
Just for a “Cherry on Top” ending, here’s a lyric to that song:
If you ever reached to help a friend
A hand you help might lift you up again
What goes around comes back around you know
You always reap exactly what you sow.