On New Year’s Eve 2017, Jessica Morris of Newport Beach, California, made an unusual resolution. The healthy 30-year-old decided she wanted to save someone’s life by donating a kidney.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Las Vegas, Nevada, another 30-year-old was dying of kidney failure, praying for a miracle to save him from dying an early death. David Nicherie suffers from an autoimmune disease that was slowly robbing him of his strength, forcing him to receive daily dialysis in order to cling to life.
David was on the organ donor list for a transplant, but he was told he was about 15 years away from ever receiving a healthy kidney. “I was depressed,” David said. “I was sad all the time.”
Out of sheer desperation, just days before David had to succumb to hospice care he took a leap of faith and posted a plea for help on Craigslist.
Miraculously, Jessica saw David’s ad and immediately knew that this was the opportunity she’d been waiting for. She contacted David, and they hit it off instantly. Jessica then began the arduous testing process to see if she was a match, and as they waited, the two got to know each other and learned they share a few strangely coincidental similarities. For one thing, they were both born during the same year, in the same hospital.
“I’ve actually wanted to do it for a very long time,’’ said Jessica.“I don’t understand why more people don’t donate.”
Months after they first connected, Jessica learned the happy news that she was a perfect match for David. The two entered UCSF Parnassus Medical Center and underwent the transplant procedure, which took several hours. Jessica bounced back quickly, and David’s prognosis is excellent.
“She’s an angel,” David says of Jessica. “She gave me purpose to live. She gave me hope. Even if she had turned out to have been not healthy enough, or couldn’t donate, she gave me something I didn’t have.”
Jessica has taken the entire experience in her stride, stating simply that she was glad to help and knew it was her destiny to save David’s life.
”Everyone around me thought that I was a little crazy at first, because I was going to donate to a stranger, but… They’re all looking at me, and the risks. No one’s looking at the other side. This person is dying. So why risk something that’s a hypothetical idea for something that is true? In David’s case, if I didn’t intervene, he would have died.”
Jessica’s father, Dan Morris, says she made the decision all on her own, but once he got over the shock and worry of the surgery, he knew it was in keeping with his daughter’s giving character. “She’s always been like this,” Dan explained. “I’ve always called her ‘Jessie Nightingale,’” he said.
“I wanted someone who was going to be able to tell me their life struggles, what they went through and how it was going to change them,” she said. “Also, I wanted it to go to someone who needed it the most.”
That mission was definitely accomplished, and David will never forget the fact that he owes his life to a kind stranger who made the most selfless New Year’s resolution imaginable.
“I just see her as a gift from God,” he says simply, as tears fill his eyes.
Jessica’s incredible gift of life has inspired David to start a website devoted to helping potential organ donors meet with patients in need.
Soucre: Inspiremore .