ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Karen Bryce had endured kidney transplant surgery once, and frankly, that was enough for her.
Her body ached as if she had been mowed down by a truck, but pain was a small price to pay for saving her daddy’s life. Though he survived only a short time, Bryce never regretted being a donor — not even when she became seriously ill several years later and was stunned to learn that her remaining kidney was failing. Now she was the one in need of a kidney.
Her sister stepped up, but Bryce said no. Her kidney disease was hereditary. She didn’t want to let a relative end up like her.
Bryce decided she would get by on dialysis. But the three-times-a-week treatment left her too tired to work. Her skin turned gray, her weight dropped precipitously, and her two teen-age daughters (she’s a single mother) feared she would die.
That’s when she agreed to a transplant.
Her kidney came courtesy of a man named Jim. He was in his late 50s — that was all she knew at first. It was hard to grasp that someone she’d never met was making this huge sacrifice.
"I did it for someone I loved and had no reservation," she said, "but to do it for a total stranger was beyond my comprehension. I just felt this person had to be an angel."
Jim Falsey, she discovered, was a Roman Catholic priest, a skydiver and a pilot who had also navigated the wilds of Alaska.
And he happened to be part of an extraordinarily generous family: They jokingly call themselves "the one kidney club."
Five members have donated kidneys. And a sixth now waits in the wings. [Source]