Heart-warming donor connection of the day
Salesman brings more than vacuum cleaners to T.F. home
By Nate Poppino
It's the kind of luck you get once in a lifetime.
After nearly three years of dialysis and searching for a donor, Twin Falls auto financier Paul Sucher has a new kidney. But he didn't get it by waiting on a list.
Rather, the kidney walked right up to his house and knocked on his door.
"I'm so healthy right now, it's almost like (losing my kidneys) never happened," Sucher said Tuesday.
It's all thanks to a Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman, and what Sucher, 35, called "truly a miracle."
The long wait
Sucher's kidneys failed three years ago as the result of hypertension, or high blood pressure. The change rocked Sucher's family, he said, who gradually got used to his new schedule - regular dialysis and other medical care, all while he kept his full-time job as finance manager for The Car Store.
They also got used to his odds of a transplant. Sucher shared his waiting list, for a transplant at the University of Colorado in Denver, with 500 people. In two-and-a-half years, he hadn't even moved one-fourth of the way up the list.
"You're waiting for a dead man's kidney," he said. "There's never enough."
On top of that, Sucher's blood type is O-positive. It's the most common - 37 percent of people are type O. But while other types could receive kidneys with any kind of blood, he needed a kidney from another O-type. That's assuming, of course, that the tissue types were the same as well.
Sucher had resigned himself to years of waiting, as none of his family members were a match. But then came the day several months ago when Jamie Howard knocked on his door.
The Idaho Falls-based vacuum cleaner salesman, also age 35, asked what was wrong when he was told Sucher's family couldn't afford a new Kirby. When Sucher's spouse, who answered the door, told Howard about the medical problems, Howard knew he had a kidney to spare.
"I went outside, prayed about it, called my dad and my wife," Howard said. "It was something I was called to do."