Fate and faith led a stranger to donate his kidney at the request of a billboard

Published: Feb. 5, 2019 at 4:58 PM CST
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A Butler County woman found a kidney donor because of a request on a billboard.

13 News reporter Kelly Dean reveals how that desperate plea for help not only saved a woman's life, but forged a lifelong friendship as well.

"He's my little hero," said Becky Grise, kidney recipient.

Life comes at us quick, and it can be taken from us in an instant.

"I found out I had the polycystic kidney disease at 28," explained Becky.

In a desperate plea, Becky put up a billboard asking for a life saving kidney, and got the call from Warren County Jail employee, Kevin Harrod. Harrod was then a complete stranger.

Becky's face and her request -- lingered in the back of Kevin's mind for a while. It was 13 News' coverage that gave Kevin the ultimate nudge, he said.

"Some things you just don't have to pray about, God just tells you and let's you know that this is what He wants you to do," said Harrod about why he felt the need to make the call. "And then six months later, here we are."

With over 80 plus calls from potential donors, Harrod was just another wishful donor to Becky that'd likely fall through.

"I told her God wanted me to call her and see about donating a kidney. She was like well, I've heard this," said Harrod.

It wasn't until she was literally on the operating table, which was six months to the day Harrod made the call, that Becky knew her life would be forever changed.

"We've said from Day 1, it has been a God thing," said Grise. "For God to lay it on a stranger's heart, to give a stranger a kidney. And I will always be grateful for him doing this because if he hadn't answered God's call, I would still be in search of a kidney."

They both call it a faith-led process. Even coming up with their own mantra for their journey.

"God's got this," Harrod said was their expression.

Along with faith, it seems that fate took its course from the very beginning.

"Previous kidney stones are supposed to be an automatic you can't donate," explained Harrod about his background. "Blood clots, I've had blood clots in both lungs and it was supposed to be you can't do it. And here we are it happened. It was done and we're both doing good. God's taken care of both of us."

Kevin even had shoulder surgery just three weeks before the kidney donation, something he kept from Becky.

"He didn't wanna worry me," said Grise.

The two were strangers just several months ago, and now sitting hand in hand, sharing tears.

"There's nothing that's gonna separate us down here, and I know there's nothing that's gonna separate us down there.

In addition to tears, they also share an organ.

"So we're a pair now that's why I sit on his left side," joked Grise.

While Harrod willingly gave up his left kidney, the two never imagined they'd also share hearts with each other, and their families as well.

"As much pain and suffering that we've both had, I wouldn't trade this journey for nothing because I have met new family," said Grise.

Becky says now she's taking 60 pills a day, but will eventually only have to take her rejection pills. ​

"We gotta show these people needing a kidney that there is life after transplant," said Grise.