Finding a donor is no small feat — there are 3,000 new patients added to the kidney donor waiting list each month, and 13 people die every day while waiting for their chance, according to the National Kidney Foundation. It’s hard to know how long someone will remain on the waiting list, but waits of three years or more are not uncommon.
Wayne Winters and his wife had been waiting for two years to find a kidney donor that could save her from her stage five kidney failure, and Winters became tired of waiting for a miracle.
Instead, he took to the streets of Farr West, Utah last month with a sandwich board sign reading: “Need Kidney 4 Wife”.
Every day, he would walk for miles down the road in hopes that the right person would see his sign and be inspired to donate the life-saving organ.
After KSTU broadcasted his story, however, the 74-year-old husband was inundated with calls and kidney offers – as many as 800 calls per day.
Then, the Winters got the call that they had been praying for.
“‘We have a kidney for you, get down here,’” Winters told the news station. “I was just so overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to think.”
Ironically, the kidney did not even come from one of the many offers that Winters received. Instead, the organ came from an organ donor who had passed away at the hospital.
The couple is now celebrating the approach of even more adventures added onto their 26 years of marriage.
“If she can have a good five years that would be awesome. We can have our life back,” Winters said.
Wayne, however, is still pounding the pavement with his sandwich board sign, except now he is encouraging pedestrians to donate their kidneys to the next person in need.
“Think about it, we could start a kidney revolution,” says Wayne. “That would be so great.”
Now that his wife has been given a second chance, Winters plans to continue his daily walks with his sign to help others have the same chance.
“I will spend more of my days walking with my sign to see how many I can get,” he said. “Think about it, we could start a kidney revolution and that would be so great.”
Anyone willing to help can call Winters at 801-675-0278 or visit the National Kidney Foundation to help others in need.
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