WJZY, the Fox-owned affiliate in Charlotte, spent 18 months trying to find an organ donor for an Army vet in desperate need of a kidney. Due to the unfortunate passing of a 10 year old, the vet got his kidney. “Without the support [FOX 46] gave me as a veteran, as a person, and the love that you all showed me, I wouldn’t have made it.”
But that’s what happened when a grateful veteran stopped by WJZY, the Fox O&O in Charlotte, N.C., to surprise the staff for saving his life.
“Without [WJZY], a veteran like me might not have been seen or heard,” said Edmund Baines. “I’m really grateful for what you did.”
What WJZY did was help Baines find a kidney donor.
Through social media and a national call to action (and many who tried but failed as matches) WJZY helped Baines find a kidney donor.
A woman in California was found to be a perfect match. WJZY told American Airlines about her and they gifted a flight to the kidney donor through the Gary Sinise Foundation that works with veterans.
Unfortunately, once in North Carolina, after more tests it became clear that her kidney was not strong enough to work for his.
Once again, many people who were following the story on WJZY, reached out and were tested to possibly be the donor.
In June of 2017, due to the unfortunate passing of a 10-year-old organ donor, Baines received the life-saving kidney.
“I named my kidney ‘innocence’ because the innocence of a child saved my life,” he said.
This week, Baines showed up at the station to thank everyone for the support which helped get him through.
“I thank you,” Baines said wiping away tears.
“Without you all I don’t think I would have made it. I had a three percent kidney function when we met. Without the support [WJZY] gave me as a veteran, as a person, and the love that you all showed me, I wouldn’t have made it.”
NOTE: Jenyne Donaldson, WJZY’s digital reporter, deserves much of the credit for helping Baines, following his story for 18 months.
Click here for more on Baines’ visit to WJZY where you can find more stories from the beginning when Donaldson first reported on Baines’ situation.