Church member donates deceased son's kidney to save pastor's life

Church member donates deceased son's kidney to save pastor's life

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg mother turned her own grief into a life-saving miracle for the worship pastor at her church.

"Only the best screen writers could have attempted to write this script," Pastor Michael Minor said.

Minor was diagnosed with diabetes as a young adult in 1996. As the disease progressed, Minor's kidneys began to shut down, and eventually completely stopped functioning properly.

Minor was in end-stage renal failure.

He began home dialysis about two years ago, but the best long-term solution was a kidney transplant.

Minor was on donation lists for three area hospitals, and while organ donation lists usually come with significant wait time, Minor's blood type made his wait even longer.

"I'm O positive," Minor said. "That's a rarer type than the As, Bs and ABs and all of that."

Minor said he was told he could wait as long as nine years at one hospital before he had the possibility of a transplant.

But, this would soon change thanks to church member Adrian Murry.

Murry lost her son, Kendrick, after a tragic accident at work on Sept. 5, 2015.

"My son was at work, fell and hit his head," Murry said. "(He) had massive brain swelling, and had to have emergency surgery. He was eventually placed on life support in ICU, and just never responded."

Murry described her son as a typical big brother always looking to help others.

It was not until after her son's death that Murry found out he was an organ donor.

"We went through the information, and found out that I can pick a person in particular if I wanted to donate a certain organ to," Murry said. "I knew from coming to a service that our minister of music needed a kidney, so I said, 'hey, if he can use it.' I told her just like that. 'If he can use it, you know, we can try.'"

The hospital began the six-hour match testing and told Murry she would get a call if Minor was a match for her son's kidney.

"It was amazing because I wasn't expecting a phone call," Murry said. "It's like a made-for-TV movie. You never expect to be on the end of a happy ending. In spite of my son's loss, it's also a gain."

The hospital said Murry needed to move quickly to get in touch with Minor to move forward with the transplant.

Meanwhile, Minor was in Starkville for the LSU vs. Mississippi State Saturday night football game.

"I started getting calls about the possibility of having a kidney donor," Minor said. " I was like 'cool, you know sounds great. I would love a kidney.' I didn't really take it as serious as normal because I thought there was more to the process."

Minor says he got a call around 2:30 the next morning from his transplant coordinator at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

"He said 'do you still want this kidney? We have one available for you.' And I'm like 'yeah,'" Minor said. "They asked me could I be in Jackson by 8 a.m."

So Minor made the trip from Starkville home to Hattiesburg and then from Hattiesburg to Jackson to get his new kidney.

"(I) got to UMC, had the transplant, I think, early Monday morning," Minor said. "That's how fast it went. I couldn't have scripted it like this."

Minor was back at West Point church for the first time Wednesday night.

Murry said she is thrilled Minor is doing so well post-transplant, but said it is hard to see him and think of her son.

"It's bittersweet, but day by day, it's just something that I'll grow to learn to live with," Murry said.

Minor said he was both thankful and surprised the Murry family thought of him during their loss.

"That's what kind of blew me away," Minor said. " I was like 'wow,' you know, 'they're thinking about me and my needs during their time of bereavement.'"

Murry said all of Kendrick's major organs were donated successfully to six people across the country.

Minor said he is looking forward to attending church services and and getting back to his music ministry.