GAITHERSBURG, Md. (CNN) – The incredible story of a Maryland handyman who risked his own life to help a needy neighbor might not have happened six years ago without some arbitrary kindness.
It all started six years ago at a bus stop in Gaithersburg, Maryland, when Doug Shumway did something extraordinary.
“I noticed by chance that someone was standing at the bus stop. It was a winter day and I realized I could take this person with me, ”Shumway said.
Handyman Dan Reynolds donated a kidney to his neighbor Tony Antonelli. The transplant was completed on February 23, and the two men are now recovering at home.(Source: GoFundMe)
That person was Dan Reynolds, who agreed to go because 10 inches of snow covered the ground and it was 15 degrees outside. The two men talked, and Shumway learned that Reynolds was a contractor, so he hired him to fix some plumbing.
The job lasted a few days, and before Reynolds left, he admitted he was homeless. After a divorce and heavy debt, he had lived in a van for two years.
Shumway offered him a place to stay.
“That’s how we should be as humans. If so, give up, ”said Shumway.
Reynolds has lived with Shumway ever since. He quickly became a household name in the neighborhood and began working as a handyman for other families. Tony Antonelli was one of his clients.
One day Reynolds was mowing grass at Antonelli’s house and noticed that he looked uncomfortable. Antonelli told him that his kidneys were failing and that he needed a transplant.
“I said, ‘Well, if it can be done, I’d be honored to give you one of mine,'” Reynolds said.
“It was a complete shock, out of the blue, and honestly, you can’t make that up,” said Antonelli.
Miraculously, the two men made a perfect match. The transplant was completed on February 23rd and they are now recovering at home.
“There’s a reason Dan is in my life and it’s to save my life. I can’t thank him enough, ”said Antonelli.
To fund the operation, Reynolds’ friends organized a GoFundMe that raised more than $ 25,000. They also hope his story will inspire others to become organ donors.
“It’s not difficult to help one another, to do things for one another. Keep paying, ”Reynolds said.
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