Man saves brother by donating kidney at Detroit Henry Ford Hospital

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One Detroit area man didn't give it a second thought when his brother needed him - and he hopes you would do the same. 

"Once I found out I had kidney failure they told me I need a transplant," said LeEarl James. "Of course I called my family first. My brother was the first to respond - and he wanted to do it that day. He said 'They can test me now, let's do it.'"

LeEarl showed no signs, no symptoms, until he was already in kidney failure. In February 2017, LeEarl learned he needed a kidney transplant but luckily his wait wouldn't be long.

"I couldn't be more thankful to have my little brother," he said.

His 30-year-old brother, Harrell James, didn't hesitate. He was tested right away and found out he was a match.

"It doesn't matter if something bad happens out of this, at least I tried to help him," Harrell said. "If something good happened, I'm proud to help him."

The transplant was successful, like so many others over the last 50 years at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital.

Many donors, recipients and doctors also gathered to celebrate the launch of The Center for Living Donation. It is a new facility that focuses on the donors who Dr. Jason Denny calls "angels on earth."

"Donors need their own specific doctors and people to discuss them specifically," said Denny. "That's what the center will do. It is a concierge level of care for people who give selflessly to those in need."

Like Harrell.

"The best thing that happened to me really, it made us closer, it made me healthier - I was probably a little bit unhealthy," Harrell said. "I feel better (energized)."

Just like Harrell is doing the center will help educate others who may consider living donation...and hopefully shorten the wait time for those in desperate need of an organ.

"Happy to not be on dialysis but at the same time my heart goes out to people suffering for a kidney hopefully my brother can shed light on that."

"What are you waiting for go do it is going to make you better make them better."

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