With the help of Facebook and an unmistakable prompting from God, one father of two is now recovering at home thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger.
Jim Abed was in desperate need of a new kidney. He had been on the transplant list for about two years, undergoing dialysis multiple times a week while he waited, a window quickly closing, Fox News reported.
Running out of options and uncertain where to turn, Abed’s cousin, Maysa Munsey Slominski, turned to Facebook, where in February she posted a plea for a kidney from a donor with blood type O.
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Then someone saw the last-ditch request. Crysti Shirley, one of Slominski’s former co-workers, saw the Facebook post and it immediately caught her attention.
“When I say ‘caught my eye,’ I mean gave me goosebumps and butterflies in my stomach,” Shirley wrote. “It was the story of someone’s loved one who needed an O kidney.”
In that moment, Shirley recalled, she knew “with 100 [percent] certainty that God was calling me to be this man’s donor.”
Shirley, who had never met Abed, immediately contacted Slominski, who helped her begin the process to determine if she would be a match for Abed. As it turned out, after a battery of tests and blood work, Shirley discovered she was a perfect match.
Slominksi told Fox News that Shirley felt “her faith was telling her to do this.”
Abed and Shirley underwent surgery together on July 26 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The procedures, Shirley said, “went beautifully,” noting the “overwhelming sense of peace” she had the morning of their surgeries.
While Abed’s family said her selfless gift was a blessing to them, Shirley insisted she is “the one who received the blessing.” She added, “God called me to do this. There is no thanks that’s needed.”
Her donation not only blessed Abed and her own life — it was also a blessing to those who followed her story on Facebook. One of her friends, Regina Adams, wrote in a comment there are “never enough words I can say to describe what a godly, grateful and giving woman you are.”
“You always have the needs of everyone else under your radar and [you’re] always looking for a way to pay it forward,” Adams wrote. “You have been a true inspiration to me and helped lead me to my walk of faith.”