Good Samaritan Donates Kidney To Stranger After Receiving Heartbreaking Note In Ebay Parcel
Ray Duffy, 53, first got the idea of becoming a living kidney donor in 2013, when his partner bought a top on eBay - which arrived from the seller with a heartbreaking note outlining a huge predicament her family was facing,
Before posting the item, the woman had wrapped the top in paper illustrated with hand-drawn cartoons, along with a note explaining how her husband not only needed a kidney transplant, but had lost his job - meaning the family had been selling things online to try and generate cash.
The message struck a chord with dad-of-two Ray, but at the time he wasn't sure how he could help.
After deciding to keep the note, two years later he was stuck in traffic when a radio segment came on discussing living kidney donors - where someone gives one of their healthy kidneys to a person who needs one.
Inspired to save the life of someone he didn't know, Ray eventually went under the knife at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 2017.
Ray, an operations manager from Gordon, Scottish Borders, said: "Back in 2013, my partner bought a top on eBay and it arrived wrapped up in brown wrapping paper which the sender had hand-drawn cartoons of animals all over.
"She had also written a thank-you note explaining that her husband was on the transplant waiting list, had lost his job and that now and then they would sell things they didn't need on eBay so they could buy their kids a treat.
"She said that she drew the pictures to put a smile on people's faces as they had helped her put a smile on her children's faces.
"I'll never forget it.
"It was just a really nice gesture from a complete stranger and I couldn't help feeling a bit queasy - here we are in the 21st century and there are families struggling while waiting for transplants.
"I felt so helpless."
Ray recalled thinking at the time, 'If I could, I would give her husband my kidney.' However, he didn't know whether it was possible or even legal.
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But the 'lightbulb moment' came when listening to the radio two years later, when he heard a discussion about altruistic organ donation - which sees a living person anonymously donate an organ to a stranger.
Ray continued: "I went to change the music on the radio and I pressed the wrong button and accidentally tuned into an interview of a man speaking about his experience [of] donating a kidney.
"That was the lightbulb moment, I just knew I was going to do it.
"I registered in November and started the assessment process straight away."
Following the year-long process involving mental, physical and medical assessments - aimed to ensure Ray was in a fit state to undergo the operation - he finally checked into the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for surgery in March 2017.
Ray said: "It was a very humbling experience to be able to do something like that for someone else.
"I know it's not for everyone and it's a huge decision but for me it just felt right."
And Ray's not even finished yet, because on Monday he will climb the Old Man of Hoy sea stack in Orkney to raise awareness.
Give a Kidney chairman Chris Jones said: "Mr Duffy's climbing challenge is brilliant because it shows that donors come back to 100 percent health after donating.
"In Scotland, there are over 400 people who need a transplant. With efforts like Mr Duffy's, we hope to get more people donating kidneys."
Ray, you're an absolute LAD.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS