A man from Henderson, Colorado, not giving up in finding a kidney donor for his wife, strapped a sign to the back of his truck to advertise their need for a kidney transplant.
Thankfully, a motorist snapped a picture of the sign and uploaded it to popular Internet forum Reddit. The picture has now gone viral, resulting in the hospital receiving countless calls for interested kidney donors for the man's wife.
Michelle Stewart has been suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus for the past 30 years. The autoimmune disease, which began when Michelle was only 13 years old, already had made her go through a couple of comas, seizure, a stroke, temporary paralysis and chemotherapy. Recently, it was discovered that her kidneys have also started to fail.
Dialysis helped a bit in recovering functionality for her kidneys, but Dr. Alexander Wiseman, University of Colorado Hospital Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program Medical Director, advised that Michelle needed a new kidney.
Robert Stewart, Michelle's husband, set to work in finding a donor for Michelle. However, after the construction worker gave out fliers, sent out emails and participated in scheduled programs, all his efforts led to a very few number of phone calls being received by the hospital for potential kidney donors for Michelle.
Robert then decided to attach a magnetic sign to the back of his pickup, thinking that maybe while he was parked, a neighbor could see the sign and perhaps know someone that can donate a kidney. However, what instead happened was that the picture of the sign was taken while Robert and Michelle were driving.
"Never in a million years would I expect some guy in traffic to take a picture of it and have it just go crazy all over the web," said Robert. "It's like, dude, wherever you are, I want to thank you personally."
The viral image has led to a massive influx of phone calls to the hospital from potential donors. Michelle hopes that one of the donors would turn out to be a match to donate a kidney to her.
Nevertheless, the massive number of inquiries also means that other patients in the hospital waiting for a kidney donor will also benefit from Robert's sign, as if the donors do not match up with Michelle, they could possibly do so for other people waiting in line for a kidney transplant.
The downside, however, is that the insurance company will only pay for one potential donor to be tested for every five weeks, which means that there is still a chance that Michelle will have to wait long for her kidney transplant if the first ones tested are not a match for her.