The Internet can be a pretty ugly place, but sometimes it brings people together in the best way.
Just ask Kayla Davis. She’s battled kidney disease for years and her kidneys failed when she was 22, leaving her on dialysis nine hours a day and in desperate need of a transplant. However, the transplant process is painfully long — over 100,000 people are waiting for one right now — and 22 people die every day waiting.
She made a last-ditch post on Reddit in hopes of finding someone.
“I saw the word dialysis and thought, That’s no way for a 25 year old to live. I’d already signed up to be an organ donor once I passed away, and I thought, Why wait? I saw the chance to do something really special. So I typed to her, ‘I’ll call the clinic tomorrow,'” Jennifer Moss told Self of seeing the 2014 post.
Davis said her “heart skipped a beat” when she saw the reply, but “I didn’t want to get too hopeful, though, because several donation possibilities had not panned out, and the disappointment each time was painful.”
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It turned out that Moss was a match, but many questioned her desire to donate a kidney to a complete stranger. “They had me in for a psych test,” she added to Self. “The psychologist asked, ‘Why are you doing this?’ I said, ‘Kayla needs a kidney, and I have two.’ He asked me again. I responded, ‘This world is rough. If we all thought about other people’s needs, we’d be in a much better place.’ When he said, ‘That’s not normal,’ I lost my patience a little and said, ‘Well, then I don’t want to be your version of normal.'”
But the then-32-year-old knew she made the right decision when the two women met and she saw how “pale and thin” Davis was. The surgery went well, and though both were in mega pain, they forged a friendship.
“Within a day, I was energized in a way I’d never experienced,” Davis said of what she felt after surgery. “Jen and I spent the time in the hospital getting to know each other, and when it was time to go, we hugged good-bye, even though our bodies hurt. Once I was discharged, I realized I no longer felt cold, itchy or tired.”
And now, they’re bonded for life. “Afterward, [future husband] Chris and I agreed that Kayla had to be at our wedding, Moss told Self. “She was family now!”