The 74-year-old man who walked miles every day in a bad to find his wife a kidney finally got his wish.
Wayne Winters, of Farr West, Utah, was desperate to find a kidney for his wife of 26 years, Deanne Winters, who has stage 5 kidney failure.
On Sunday, Winters told KSTU that he got the call they were both waiting for after two years – there was a kidney available.
“I was just so overwhelmed,” he said of the call he received from the hospital. “I didn’t know what to think.”
Finding a donor is no small feat — there are 3,000 new patients added to the kidney donor waiting list each month, and 13 people die every day while waiting for their chance, according to the National Kidney Foundation. It’s hard to know how long someone will remain on the waiting list, but waits of three years or more are not uncommon.
Winters walked miles every day by the side of busy roads wearing a sign asking for anyone to donate a kidney to his wife for weeks. After his story went viral, hundreds contacted him.
“Between seven to 800 [calls], it filled my phone up,” he said. “I’m sitting here with this full phone.”
Despite all the offers, his wife’s kidney actually came from an organ donor who had passed away. The new kidney will give the couple more time together and new memories to add to their two decades together.
“If she can gave a good five years that would be awesome, we can have our life back,” Winters said.
Now that his wife has been given a second chance, Winters plans to continue his daily walks with his sign to help others have the same chance.
“I will spend more of my days walking with my sign to see how many I can get,” he said. “Think about it, we could start a kidney revolution and that would be so great.”
Anyone willing to help can call Winters at 801-675-0278 or visit the National Kidney Foundation to help others in need.