KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Osceola, Missouri pastor gave the ultimate gift by giving his kidney to a church member,
"Well, I think it's because it's one of those few opportunities we have as people to truly be able to show people love, in a way that truly is the laying down of our own lives," Jack Coultas, pastor in Osceola said.
36-year-old Jeremy Whitham was looking for something money can't buy, a kidney.
"He was just withering away and things were not looking good in his body. Jeremy had all kinds of issues from having the need of the kidney. It also messed with his eyes, he was legally blind for quite a while," Connie Whitham, Jeremy's mom said.
His family was not sure if a miracle would come along. But it did, in the form of their pastor.
"I just brought it up to my wife and I told her you know babe, I feel like it's time. I need to just find out if I'm even eligible. So, they sent in my blood and came back that I was a match," Coultas said.
The two credit their faith on bringing them together.
"He had God calling on him to help me and with God, anything is possible. I am thankful for that," Jeremy Whitham said.
In January 17th 2020, Whitham and Coultas were rolled into the operating room at Saint Luke's Hospital. The operation was a total success. Doctors said we need more people in the world to be willing to give a kidney to help save lives.
"As a result, the outcomes for the living donors are excellent, the life spans are excellent. There's recovering from surgery, but afterwards they go on to live normal, happy and healthy lives having given the gift of life to someone else," Dr. Eddie Island, Transplant Surgeon at Saint Luke’s Health System said.
Now, part of Jack lives on in Jeremy. They hope by someone seeing their story, someone will give that ultimate gift and change a life for the better.
"To be able to know that I was able to get him back up on his feet. It's just a huge encouragement. I am thankful I was able to be the one," Coultas said.
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