Mom in need of kidney to get one from friend of her son killed in fire
A local mom pleaded for a Mother's Day miracle earlier this month. She was in desperate need of a kidney transplant and her children set up a social media campaign in hopes of finding a match.
Laurie Vargo-Wilke is hours away from surgery. Her prayers have been answered and a kidney to be donated but this story is bittersweet.
"It's kind of hard to be happy under the circumstances. I mean, I'm thankful and I'm grateful but then my heart goes out to the family for losing their son," she said.
Laurie has been on dialysis for years. That's commitment of three days a week for four hours. For the past two years, she's been on the transplant list.
On Mother's Day, we met her for the first time when her children launched a social meida campaign to help her find a living donor.
"I had a lot of people - I think about 50 people - call my coordinator to sign up to be tested," Laurie said.
As fate would have it, a living donor didn't come through. A friend of her 21-year-old son, Joshua, was badly hurt in a fire and was on life support. Years ago, he signed up to be an organ donor and he was match.
"They told me also when he got his first license he signed up to be an organ donor and he was really proud of that. He went around the house showing everybody that he was an organ donor," Laurie said.
His parents knew his wishes and before taking him off life support, they thought of Laurie and reached out to her kidney transplant coordinator.
"I've never been a real religious person but with these last few days, with hearing about the accident and the turn of events and how everything came and that he's a match and he was an organ donor - it's like god had a plan," she said.
Joshua was taken off of life support on Wednesday and his organs were harvested for donation. One young healthy kidney is now going to Laurie.
Joshua's parents are understandably grieving but tell us they want to share their story at a later date. For now they're just grateful that he will live on in Laurie.
"They are such good people and they're telling me just don't feel bad, don't feel guilty, that they're happy part of Joshua will be living on with me and the other people that he'll be helping," Laurie said.
Laurie is grateful to be among them. The next steps are surgery, healing, and a life without dialysis.