Having battled diabetes for most of her life, Stacey Knox had been on the kidney transplant waiting list for over a year. Despite numerous offers from family members to help her, there were no matches, so she joined the group of more than 93,000 Americans waiting to receive a kidney from a deceased donor.
Until one night, Knox received news that she never expected.
Knox, 34 of Lewes, Del., was awoken by a loud knock on her front door. A police officer informed her that her father had been hit by a car, and that she needed to go to the hospital as soon as possible. Knox rushed to his side. But unfortunately, due to significant brain injuries, her father passed away.
In the wake of his passing, Knox met with a Gift of Life representative to discuss options for donating her father’s organs. Since he had not specified on his license that he was a donor, Gift of Life looked to Knox to make the decision—unaware that she herself was on the waitlist for a kidney.
Knox recounted her own story, and noted that her father always wanted to be a donor, but could not become one because he had health issues that made him ineligible. But his untimely death paved the way for him to be tested for candidacy to give the gift of life to his daughter.
Much to Knox’s surprise, her father was a perfect match.
Knox got the news that she would receive her father’s kidney on a Sunday afternoon, with only three hours to get to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in traffic from the Jersey shore. Making her way through the miles of gridlock, Knox arrived in Philadelphia and received her father’s kidney the next day. After her surgery on August 10th, Knox is recovering well and is grateful to her father. Despite her grief, she feels very lucky, and says now she’ll always have a piece of him with her.
In this tragedy-turned-miracle, Knox and three other people waiting for organ transplants received second chance at life.