Strangers Step Up to Offer Own Kidneys After Man’s Desperate Plea for His Sick Wife Goes Viral.

(Video Screenshot | CBS New York)
In hopes of saving his wife, who was suffering from kidney disease, this dedicated Brooklyn man turned himself into a human billboard. Walking around New York to seek a kidney donor, his desperate plea had everyone talking after a photo of him surfaced on social media. The sign read, “In need of a kidney for my wife B+ 917-442-6202.”Marcus snapped a photo of the unusual sign and posted it on Twitter, writing, “Here is a photo I took at my Target yesterday and can’t stop thinking about.”The man pictured was later identified as Raymond Thompson from Brooklyn. His wife, Mylen, was diagnosed with kidney disease two years ago. Thompson met Mylen in an AOL chat room in 2000. They bonded over their shared love for pro wrestling and eventually got married. The couple has a 4-year-old daughter, Rachel. Alluding to the day when Thompson received an alarming phone call from Mylen, he told Marcus in an interview: “She called me at work and said, ‘Babe, you need to come home right now.’ She said, ‘I can’t feel my right side. It’s numb.’”Due to this, Mylen needs to go to “a [dialysis] centre for three hours, three days a week.” “There’s a machine that filters your blood. It takes a lot out of you,” Thompson further added. The only way to end Mylen’s dependence on dialysis was for her to undergo a kidney transplant. Thompson and his family members really wanted to donate their kidney to Mylen, but sadly, no one was a match. It could possibly take years to find a match on the kidney transplant wait list; thus, Thompson decided to take matters into his own hands. Inspired by Rob Leibowitz, a man who successfully found a kidney donor for his wife after walking around Disney World donning an “in-need-of-kidney” T-shirt, he wore a similar sign on his backpack too. And just like Leibowitz, Thompson got lucky too. His visit to Target on a particular day turned out to be a fruitful trip. His heart-wrenching plea struck a sympathetic chord among social media users all over the world. Marcus’s tweet went viral, racking up more than 37,000 likes and over 22,000 shares. One Twitter user, who saw the post, commented, “OH MY! That is a man who deeply loves.”“It takes the stars & planets to line up just right to make transplant happen. Fingers crossed for this man and his wife!” another wrote. Celebrities, including Zach Braff, Martina Navratilova, Evan Rachel Wood, and Sarah Hyland, shared Marcus’s tweet, and soon, strangers from across the globe—as far as Australia and Pakistan—began flooding Thompson with text messages and calls, stepping up to offer their own kidneys.“Ever since it’s been crazy… people have been calling, text messages, all day every day and night so most of my time I’m just there replying,” Thompson told CBS New York. “I appreciate everyone who reaches out. It means a lot to us to get the message out there,” he added. Even if Thompson does manage to find a match for his wife, there’s still a lot of work to be done, as “there are so many people that actually need organs, especially kidneys.” According to Kidney Link, the average waiting time for a kidney transplant is three to five years, depending on the blood type.“Sign up to be organ donors,” Thompson urged. “You have two and can live a healthy life with just one. Just sign up.”Individuals like Thompson and Leibowitz definitely had to go through a tedious process to find a kidney donor for their wife. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the staff at a hospital in Tianjin City, northeastern China, told TV Chosun, a cable network in South Korea, that “a matching organ can be found within weeks.”The program’s crew went undercover on the pretence that they were inquiring about surgery for a South Korean patient with kidney disease in need of a transplant. The nurse mentioned,.” This surely raises alarming questions. Where do the organs come from? Is there a likelihood of a live organ bank with prisoners of conscience being killed on order for transplant surgery in China?
A report published by international human rights lawyer David Matas and former Crown attorney and cabinet minister David Kilgour point out to Chinese hospitals performing an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 organ transplants a year since 2000, and that most of the organs were sourced from innocents—Uyghurs, Tibetans, House Christians, with Falun Gong practitioners being the primary source.