Family & Parenting

Man Donates Kidney To Wife Of 40 Years: ‘Who Wouldn’t Help Their Best Friend?’

The couple had just lost their 33-year-old daughter to liver failure.

After already losing so much, John Rexroad gave up part of himself to save his best friend’s life.

Sarah Rexroad, John’s daughter, was diagnosed with liver failure in June 2017. Her condition swiftly deteriorated and she passed away in September at the age of 33. But the untimely death of their daughter was not the only tragedy for John and his wife Teri Rexroad. At about the same time Sarah got her diagnosis, Teri was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure.

John immediately knew that he was willing to donate a kidney to save his wife’s life.

“We went to that first meeting to discuss the possibility for her being able to receive a transplant. And I went saying, ‘I want to be a candidate,'” John told NBC’s “Today” show. “I knew I was going to pursue organ donation as soon as our daughter became sick.”

Luckily, after months of testing, the couple received the good news that John was a match for Teri. In January, they both had their surgeries on the same day.

“I’m just thrilled to be able to do it,” John said. “We’ve been together for 40 years. I married my best friend. I mean, who wouldn’t help their best friend?”

Living donation, as was the case with the Rexroads, is superior to receiving an organ from a deceased donor, as transplants from a living donor last nearly twice as long, according to the National Kidney Registry.

Many living donations are direct donations, meaning the donor knows the recipient and donates directly to them. That was the case for pop star Selena Gomez, who received a kidney transplant from her good friend, actress Francia Raisa, last year.

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

If a friend or family member wishes to donate but they are not compatible their intended recipient, they can participate in what is known as a “paired exchange,” in which a person donates their kidney to another recipient in exchange for a compatible kidney for their loved one.

It’s inspiring that John and Teri were able to make the best of a terrible situation. We wish them both the best in their continued recoveries!