Desperate to find a kidney donor, the family of a Georgia police officer took a simple photo that ended up saving his life.
Raleigh Callaway, 49, was battling stage-five kidney disease when he and his wife had photographer Brandy Angel take a picture of them with their young daughters holding up a sign that read, "Our daddy needs a kidney!" They posted it on Facebook, where it soon went viral and resulted in hundreds of people offering to donate a kidney. One of them was Chris Carroll, a healthcare consultant from McKinney, Texas, who turned out to be the best match. Even though he had never met Callaway, after seeing the photo online, he donated his kidney to him in a operation performed at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Sept. 27.
"When I saw the story it just kind of hit me," Carroll told NBC Atlanta affiliate WXIA. "Once I found out that I was the best one, it reinforced that this is what was supposed to happen. It was God orchestrating this."
"He doesn't know me. I don't know him. I just think that can't be based off luck,'' Callaway told WXIA. "I just thank God for connecting us together."
After the successful surgery, the family gathered to pose for a new heartwarming photo for Angel.
The Callaways were so overwhelmed by the support from those on social media that they are now trying to help others in similar situations. Raleigh's wife, Kristi, has started a non-profit with Angel called Callaway's Angels. The website aims to do for others what was done for Callaway, featuring a person in need of a living donor kidney every week in the hope of finding compatible donors.
"I love that they are paying it forward and they are looking to help others,'' Tamron Hall said on TODAY Monday.