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Church member Jeremy Whitham, left, has a new lease on life thanks to Pastor Jack Coultas. Photo: Facebook.

Missouri pastor saves church member with kidney donation

A pastor in Osceola, Mo., put his faith into action by donating a kidney to a member of his church.

“Well, I think it’s because it’s one of those few opportunities we have as people to truly be able to show people love, in a way that truly is the laying down of our own lives,” Pastor Jack Coultas told KSHB-TV.

Jeremy Whitham, 36, needed a transplant as soon as possible or else he would most likely die.

READ: Little girl’s kidney and liver transplant give life

“He was just withering away, and things were not looking good in his body,” his mother, Connie Whitham, said. “Jeremy had all kinds of issues from having the need of the kidney. It also messed with his eyes; he was legally blind for quite a while.”

His family was not sure if a miracle would come along. But it did, in the form of their pastor.

“I just brought it up to my wife and I told her you know babe, I feel like it’s time” the pastor said. “I need to just find out if I’m even eligible. So they sent in my blood and came back that I was a match.”

The two credit their faith on bringing them together. “He had God calling on him to help me and with God, anything is possible,” Jeremy Whitham said. “I am thankful for that.” In January 2020, Whitham and Coultas were rolled into the operating room at St. Luke’s Hospital. The operation was a complete success.

“As a result, the outcomes for the living donors are excellent, the lifespans are excellent,” said Dr. Eddie Island, transplant surgeon at Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City. “There’s recovering from surgery, but afterwards they go on to live normal, happy and healthy lives having given the gift of life to someone else.”

They hope by someone seeing their story, someone will give that ultimate gift and change a life for the better. “To be able to know that I was able to get him back up on his feet is just a huge encouragement,” Coultas said. “I am thankful I was able to be the one.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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