Jeff Lynd and Kelly Sowatsky (c) Photo Courtesy: Jeff Lynd Facebook Page SALISBURY, Md.- Wicomico Middle School technology teacher Jeff Lynd is getting national attention for his generosity.
"I don’t see myself as a hero," says Lynd.
Lynd, who has worked for Wicomico County Public Schools for nine years, gave the ultimate gift to a complete stranger. He donated one of his kidneys to a fellow Pittsburgh Penguins fan, Kelly Sowatsky.
"This last spring, I read Kelly’s story and I realized I was a blood type match. I did a lot of research online to see what exactly entailed," explains Lynd.
Sowatsky, who is 31, is also a teacher. She was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2015.
"A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with end state renal failure," says Sowastky. "I was a qualifying candidate for an organ donation at that time. The doctors said waiting for a kidney from the list could take up to six years so, I decided to try to find a living donor."
Sowatsky made a sign and brought to one of the Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey game this spring. The photo caught the attention of team and went viral on social media.
"I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude," says the 31-year-old. "All the love I’ve received is incredible,".
Lynd saw the message and reached out to Sowatsky and after months of testings, earlier this month the surgery was a success.
"The best part of this experience is to see her getting better," he says. "before, her kidney function was in 7%, the day I left it was in 99% so within 48 hours it improved over 90 percent".
Sowatsky says that now they share a "sister-brother relationship."
If you’re interested in learning how to become an organ donor visit organdonor.gov to learn how you can save lives.
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