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“I Felt This Tug On My Heart.” Stranger Spots Facebook Comment And Donates Kidney.

When times are tough, many of us turn to social media for a much-needed distraction.

Last winter, Toshira Maldonado-McIntosh of Cape May, New Jersey was scrolling through Facebook to take her mind off her husband’s declining health. Roy McIntosh’s kidney was damaged by renal failure, and his condition was further complicated by a terrible bout of COVID-19 in 2020.

Roy was already in stage three kidney failure when he got COVID, and the virus further damaged his kidneys. He desperately needed a new kidney to avoid a lifetime of dialysis, but none of his immediate family members were a match.

Toshira was upset as she read her feed, so when she noticed a post on the Christian Laughs page asking what she’d want God to bring her in the new year, she answered with complete honesty. She typed a comment asking for a kidney donor with type B blood to come forward and save her husband’s life.

Nearly 2,000 miles away in Grapevine, Texas, military wife and mom-of-two Heather Schaefer was also looking at Facebook. She saw the post and noticed Toshiba’s comment, which instantly caught her attention.

“I felt this tug on my heart that her message was for me,” Heather said.

She sent Toshiba a message to tell her that she felt drawn to their story. Naturally, Toshiba thought it was too good to be true, but her gut told her to trust Heather. She sent a picture of their kidney doctor’s business card to Heather, who called them and got the ball rolling.

After a few months of testing, Heather was approved to be a living organ donor for Roy!

Roy and Heather never got a chance to meet in person before their surgeries, which took place in their own home states. On June 8, Heather’s healthy kidney was removed in Texas and immediately flown to Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, where Roy was waiting.

The surgeries went without a hitch, and Roy’s new kidney started working right away. He has not experienced any rejection, and his health and stamina immediately improved. Roy says he feels 20 years younger!

Months later, the two finally got a chance to meet when Heather traveled to New Jersey. She has fully recovered from her surgery, and now her remaining kidney does the work of two. Transplant surgeons say living donations provide the best outcome for patients.

During their meeting, Roy couldn’t stop hugging and kissing the woman whose generous act of kindness changed his life forever.

“It really happened,” Heather said. “Although we’ve gone through it all, we know everything happened and went really well, it’s still amazing to meet in the flesh and realize what an impact we’ve had on each other’s life.”

Roy and Toshiba gave Heather a necklace as a token of thanks, but say nothing can ever repay her for the gift she gave them all. Their story reminds us that sometimes those random messages that cross our path really are meant for us to see!

Share this story to celebrate destiny – and second chances!

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