A Minnesota mom donated her kidney to the brave firefighter who helped her daughter when she was having a seizure at home.
Becca Bundy’s daughter was having a seizure at home, when volunteer firefighter Bill Cox was the first person who helped.
Two years later, Bundy was able to pay back the firefighter, by donating one of her kidneys to him.
Cox was volunteering with the Bearville Volunteer Fire Department in northern Minnesota for about six years and is a trained first responder.
On August 2016, he got the call to help Bundy’s daughter, “I got there and helped settle people down until an ambulance could get there and take care of her,” he said.
They met again in October 2018 when Bundy went to a benefit held for a neighbor at Viking Bar, where Cox `worked for 16 years.
Cox was tending at the bar, in a green T-shirt, which said, “My Name is Bill. I’m in end stage KIDNEY FAILURE And in need of a KIDNEY.”
After talking for a while with him, she realized they had the same blood type.
“This is what started the journey. I remember telling Bill throughout my testing at one point that I knew I was the one,” she said.
Cox was on the transplant list in 2017, he had only one kidney from birth, and it was failing.
He was kept on dialysis since January of this year.
He had 2 shirts which he wore to work almost every day, he says 4 or 5 people had offered to donate their kidneys to him, but couldn’t donate.
But as soon as Bundy got to know she was a perfect match for him, she called him and both cried out of joy.
Dr. Raja Kandaswamy, the director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program, University of Minnesota Health, said around 100,000 people were on the waiting list for a new kidney.
He said, it was urgent for him to get a live donor as the waiting time for an organ from a deceased donor was 5 to 7 years in Minnesota.
“There was a sense of urgency to get a transplant because a 66-year-old on dialysis does not do well long-term on dialysis,” Kandaswamy said. “The mortality is high once they remain on dialysis for a few years.”
Dr Kandaswamy and his team performed the transplant at the end of February and says that the patient is now doing great and hasn’t looked back since.
He praises Cox’s energy levels and that he is now back to doing all his favorite things – woodcarving, voluntary firefighter and first responder.
Through the whole process, Bundy and Cox’s families have grown close to each other.
Bundy said that they speak regularly and also hang out often.
Before the surgery, Cox had carved out a wooden angel for her and painted it in her favorite color.
“She’s my angel. She saved my life and I thought that would be an appropriate little gift for them,” he said.