Nashville airport employee donates kidney to co-worker

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An employee at the Nashville airport gave her co-worker who was in need of a new kidney a second chance at life.

Alex Evans was diagnosed with genetic kidney disease when he was just 30 years old. He was added to the kidney transplant list last year when his kidneys were functioning at just 12 percent.

“I spent last summer getting tested and felt horrible and missed a lot of work. I got accepted to the transplant list, but here in Nashville it’s an average of three to five years to get a cadaver kidney,” Evans explained to News 2.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

Shortly after being placed on the transplant list, Evans learned he had received a donor kidney.

“I got a phone call. That was the phone call that said, ‘We’ve got a kidney for you but it’s anonymous. She wants to tell you in her own time or way,’” he recalled.

Evans later learned the donor was actually his co-worker Rhonda Bowery.

“I broke down [after learning who it was]. I couldn’t believe it,”Evans said. “I was just so blessed.

Evans told News 2 he didn’t even know that Bowery had undergone testing to see if she was a match.

“I didn’t want to solicit. I told very few people at work just because I didn’t want to do that. I knew I was going to have to do something because I felt so bad,” he explained. “How do you thank somebody like that? How do you repay someone for that?”

Bowery said her family was hesitant at first when learning of her decision but they ultimately supported her.

“I told them you don’t understand, this is something that I have to do. This man’s life is in jeopardy and I can help save his life,” she said.

Upon meeting Evans, Bowery said her husband immediately understood her desire to help her co-worker.

“He said I am behind you 100 percent and I understand why you are doing it. After meeting Alex and seeing what kind of person he is, I would do the same thing.”

Since the surgery over the holidays, the pair said they have all grown closer together.

“Our families have basically become one,” Bowery said.

Evans said he hopes his story encourages others to become donors.

“Instead of taking your organs to heaven, leave them here where they can be used,” he said.

Bowery and Evans had the surgery over the holidays.

They both just returned to work recently.

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