CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When this photo randomly appeared in my inbox today, I teared up and knew it had to be shared. Not because of the sign John Burgess is holding -- absolutely no thanks needed, please -- but because of HIM. Living. Alive. Look! Healthy color. Out of ICU. Even half-smiling. Far cry from a week ago.
Eighteen-year-old John was in a stage so critical in June that his family and South Iredell High School came together to desperately ask someone -- anyone -- to donate a kidney.
The Mooresville teen wouldn't survive without a new one. Both of his had failed.
John had a unique blood type.
No one in his family or close friends matched.
This donor dad is in his 40's. He told John's family he relies on faith and prayer to guide him. He has already met John's parents and grandparents and will meet John tomorrow. He is recovering well. No complications from now only having one kidney instead of two.
John is also recovering well. He will soon start traveling back and forth to Charlotte four times a week for treatments. He can't drive himself so his parents will be taking time off work to coordinate these trips. His mom works in a convenience store.
There will be obvious financial struggles as they move forward, but his family remains positive. Their son is alive, they say. That's their focus. A miracle happened and a stranger Angel saved him.
(Molly sidebar UPDATE: The family IS really positive, but Sunday night friends set up a place where people can send gift cards, get well notes, etc. Send in care of John Burgess Family, 118 Overhill Drive, Suite 101, Mooresville, NC 28117.)
Last week you might have read about John going through surgery: READ HERE. But after hearing more about this donor dad, it seems even more remarkable.
Amazing to think he gave A KIDNEY after reading about the need on Facebook.
And truly John... this is all about you and the donor. Just stay on course and get better soon. When you're healthy enough for visitors, I'd love to meet not just on email.
Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first
published there – which is why it's written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story (and updates on all #MollysKids) here.