An elderly South Carolina man who walked his hometown streets wearing a sandwich board sign asking for a kidney donor for his wife, had his prayers answered after nearly a year.
Larry Swilling, 78, held a handmade sign that read in giant red letters: "Need Kidney 4 Wife" and included a phone number. After many months, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) told the couple that a viable donor has been found. Pending a final round of tests scheduled for next week, Jimmie Sue Swilling could receive the kidney Sept. 12.
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Jimmie Sue and Larry Swilling have been married for 57 years. Jimmie Sue Swilling was born with only one kidney and started having complications after she gave birth to the couple's third child. It started failing in December, according to the New York Daily News.
When none of her immediate family members proved to be a suitable donor, Larry Swilling took to the streets of downtown Anderson, S.C.
The Swillings’ plight received national attention this year. Larry told the Daily News in June that people as far away as Egypt and Sweden have called him, but the family was still searching for a donor.
But the wait appears to be over now.
"I knew it was going to happen because I know him," Jimmie Sue told WHNS. "He wouldn't have stopped until he got me one."
The United Network for Organ Sharing web site lists 119,406 waiting list candidates. The organization has made more than 11,580 transplants possible.
Larry Swilling wasn't the first person to seek an organ donor in a unique way. In May, a Pasadena family took to Craigslist and YouTube to help a 26-year-old in need.
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