An Indiana man has been given a life-saving gift by a life-long friend.
Fox59 reports Brandon Morris, from Peru, was diagnosed with acute kidney failure in 2014. He woke up in the middle of the night and could not breathe, prompting a trip to the ER where he was told his kidneys were failing.
Morris had no previous symptoms and was not aware he only had one kidney until he arrived at the hospital.
“I was put on hemodialysis for about three months and then I switched to peritoneal dialysis,” said Morris. “I did 11 hours a night, seven days a week.”
According to the Peru Tribune, it would take six months of testing before Morris could be placed on the transplant list in Indiana for a new kidney – and he had to be healthy enough for the surgery.
Morris’ journey for a new kidney seemed to be a short one when his younger brother, Brandon Morris, secretly underwent testing to see if he could donate one of his kidneys to his older brother. The results came back as a match, but on the day of the surgery a few of the blood tests came back and doctors said the surgery had to be canceled.
That is when a childhood friend came along. Erin Strickland, a close family friend, grew up with Brandon. When she heard he needed help, she decided to get involved.
“I feel like we are not that different,” said Stickland according to Fox59. “We had similar upbringings, we always had the same social circle and he was sick- and I wasn’t and so, if I could help him not be sick and my life not change, why wouldn’t I do that?”
This time, the surgery ran smoothly. Seven months later, the Morris and Strickland are closer than ever.
“I feel like we are family,” said Morris to Fox59. “Me, her husband, her daughter, her mom, her sister, everybody. I mean we were friends before but now it just feels like we are literally family. It was definitely a blessing. She saved my life.”