NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A man gave a kidney to a stranger to secure one for his mom as a birthday present.
On Geraldean Smith's 66th birthday, her son Howard Smith underwent surgery at Ascension Saint Thomas West Hospital. He donated a kidney to an unknown person in need. "He came through like flying colors, I mean nothing hindered him whatsoever,” Geraldean Smith said, “So I was at peace."
He did it as part of the National Kidney Registry's Voucher Program. He gave a kidney, to make sure his mom gets one because she's been on dialysis for years. "It definitely was a little bit of a disappointment that I wasn’t able to give the kidney to my mom directly," Howard Smith said.
They’re crossing their fingers his mom will find a match soon. Smith said, "And to leave all of this behind, and getting my life back would be great for me and my husband,"Smith said.
Right now people like Heather Marshall are working to find Geraldean the right match. "We hope to have her transplanted within a year," Marshall said. She said this is the first 'Advanced Donation' they've done at Ascension Saint Thomas West Hospital. "But that’s just the voucher program, the other thing they do is the swaps where you have a donor and recipient that do not match and another that do not match, and you just flip flop them," Marshall said.
As the work goes on behind the scenes, Geraldean and Howard look forward to cherishing time with family over the Thanksgiving holiday. Smith said, "When you love someone you make sure you can do everything you can for them."