A couple of weeks ago, 74-year-old Wayne Winters started walking the streets every day wearing a sandwich board that says, "Need kidney 4 wife," along with a phone number and his wife's blood type (A-).
After the video aired showing Winters walking miles every day along busy streets near his home for the chance that one of the people in the cars passing by would be a match for his wife, he started getting hundreds of calls every day from people who wanted to help.
“Between 7 to 800 [calls], it filled my phone up. I’m sitting here with this full phone,” Winters told Fox13.
On Sunday, the couple got a call that an organ donor who matched his wife had passed away, and she would be getting a new kidney. They'd been waiting for this moment for two years. Now, Winters hopes he and his wife can get at least five more good, healthy years together.
"We can have our life back," he told Fox13.
Barring any other complications, there's a good chance Winters and his wife will get those five years. A transplanted kidney doesn't last forever, and one donated from someone who has died has an even shorter lifespan, but it should last an average of 10 to 12 years, according to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Although his wife has found her kidney, Winters told Fox13 that he won't give up his walks. He wants to continue advocating for kidney failure patients and see how many people he can help.
“Think about it," he told Fox13. "We could start a kidney revolution, and that would be so great.”
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