CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chris Coleman says he truly feels like he has a new lease on life.
Last year, The Problem Solvers shared his story when he was in dire need of a kidney donor.
Though his road to recovery has been touched by a few medical setbacks, Coleman says he’s well on his way.
After our story aired, Coleman says the responses left him in awe, describing it as love in action.
Last November, The Problem Solvers aired the desperate father’s plea for a donor to help him through a life-saving transplant.
All Coleman could think about was fighting, so he could be around to watch his three children grow up. He was suffering from Polycystic Kidney Disease which left a number of painful cysts on his kidneys.
“For me, I just needed that kidney as soon as possible and it happened. Right after Christmas, it was my gift,” Coleman said.
Now nearly a year out from his surgery, the Chesterfield dad recounts how quickly things happened after his story hit the air days after Thanksgiving.
“It actually went national and we received about three hundred inquiries of people willing to offer a kidney. You all aired the story on November 23rd and by December 19th I was meeting with the surgeon and lining up the transplant. It was insane that in less than a month we found a donor,” Coleman explained.
Hardly a day goes by that Coleman doesn’t think about the stranger who stepped forward to give him a gift of life. He calls that person his angel. Someone he now considers family. One day, he’d love to meet the donor to simply say thank you.
“It re-instilled my faith. It was beautiful and I am so appreciative. I can never repay that person for giving an organ to me,” Coleman said.
Still today he’s blown away by a stranger’s selfless act, endless support from his children's schools and neighbors who sent meals, kept up his lawn or lent a helping hand to his wife. During his recovery time, Coleman said he was worried about his wife who was juggling her job, hospital visits and the children.
Now Coleman is beyond grateful to be on the other side, no longer dealing with PKD.
Coleman is also thankful to all who helped him get through one of the most difficult times of his life.
“If you had not done a story on me, I don’t think I would have gotten a kidney until I got a kidney through the transplant list, which can take 5, 6 or 7 years. I thank you guys tremendously for everything because, without you guys, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here looking healthy. I’d be on dialysis. God only knows how long I’d be able to function” Coleman said.
Now he’s inspired even more to continue pushing message of organ donation awareness, so that others too, may find their new lease on life.
“There are so many on the kidney donor list that are in dire need. So the message is 'get out there and share your spare.' I want to educate people on the fact that you can donate a kidney and be perfectly fine. This showed me that there are really good people out there willing to do it. It’s love in action. It just shows you how people do things without being asked. No obligation and maybe with no compensation, but do it out of the goodness of their hearts and it makes you feel good inside.”
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