Retired Navy woman donates kidney to save stranger’s life

Posted at 11:55 PM, Sep 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-13 23:55:28-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - A Navy veteran says she felt compelled to give her kidney to woman from South Carolina.

And it was that woman's husband who helped orchestrate this gift of life.

After 57 years of marriage, their love is so palpable it practically melts you in your seat.  This is probably why after the first story aired, thousands of people called to offer their kidneys.

"There's a mighty bunch of good people out there just wanting to help,” says Larry Swilling.

More than 100 of that mighty bunch went through the testing to see if they were a match, and would you actually was!

After a full year of searching, this week Larry Swilling finally met his miracle.

She's a 41-year-old retired Navy Lieutenant Commander named Kelly Weaverling.

"Have you ever had a feeling that was just a strong gut feeling that you just went with your instinct because you just knew it was right?  That's exactly what happened.  I could do something to give this family hope,” says Weaverling.

The surgery was Wednesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon, Larry was hugging doctors.

Everything went perfectly.  Now Larry says he has two new missions: to find other donors for other people and to find a way to properly thank the woman who gave him his wife back and his life back.

"There's not enough words," says Larry.

“Just take care of your wife. Just take care of her,” says Weaverling.