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Attleboro Soldier Thanks Stranger for Donating a Kidney to Save His Life

The Jennings family is thankful for the special person who saved their husband and dad's life.

Massachusetts National Guard Army Veteran, John Jennings met the stranger who gave him his life back by donating the soldier his kidney.

SFC John Jennings was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) several years ago and after a donor came forward to give Jennings a chance at life.

Polycystic Kidney Disease, a disorder passed down through families, causes multiple cysts to form on the kidneys and become enlarged. The disease can begin at any age and the cause is unknown. In the case of U.S. Army Sgt. John Jennings of Attleboro, he was diagnosed in 1995 when high blood pressure alerted Army doctors to a problem.

Medications to lower his blood pressure stalled the problem temporally. As with most people, the Jennings family believed that they had this under control and had plenty of time before having to take the next steps.

Three months after sharing his story with the community, the Jennings family were granted their wish and were given a November date for the transplant.

"We would like you to meet a very special person who gave my husband back his life, Patrick Fitgibbons," Rebecca Jennings posted on her husband's Facebook page. "Just a amazing person to do this for a total stranger. Thank you!"

"Such an amazing morning to meet Patrick, we will be eternally grateful for such a wonderful gift," she added. "I can’t wait to meet you Debbie!! From one wife to another THANK YOU….. THANK YOU for being so supportive of your husband for giving my husband chance to be a dad again! You and your family will always have special place in my heart."

John Hodges November 10, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Dear Patrick, Bravo! Best wishes for rapid recovery for both you and your recipient. Come join the conversation at http://www.livingdonorsonline.org/ ! All are welcome, not just donors! Come say hi!
cathy trustdorf November 11, 2011 at 03:52 PM
I,too, have PKD and was given the gift of life by my friend who donated her kidney to me. I have the utmost admiration, awe, and love for all who make this selfless decision to save a life. Thanks so much Patrick and best wishes to you and John. May both your recoveries be quick and your lives be wonderfully blessed. Cathy Trustdorf
Ann McEvoy November 11, 2011 at 04:14 PM
One of the amazing twists in this story is that a nationwide search ensued to find a kidney for John and his donor ends up being a North Attleboro resident who son is in the Army. Thanks to all the men and women who offered to be tested and for all any others who may recieve a kidney because of this effort. I offer prayers for the continued recovery of both John and Pat.
Lynne November 16, 2011 at 12:45 AM
That is what I want to do, become a donor.
Lynne November 16, 2011 at 12:45 AM
That is what I want to be, a donor.

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