A local high schooler's sad and untimely death after a battle with a rare disease has brought together two unlikely strangers, now bonded through the gift of life.
Midlothian High School student Tyler Davidson passed away in February after a brief battle with a rare form of epilepsy which left the vibrant, soccer-playing teen in a coma.
"They pretty much said he had some brain apathy and he was not going to make it," Ken Davidson, Tyler's father, told 8News reporter Nate Eaton.
On February 26, a day after Davidson passed, Alroy Henderson got a life-changing call: He was getting one of Tyler's kidneys.
"It was a lot to process to know that this 15 year old had died probably two hours before I got the call," said Henderson, who had been waiting for three years for a perfect match. Tyler's was perfect.
"Normally it takes 2-3 days for the kidney to respond but by 5:30, Tyler's kidney had responded and was functioning," said Carol Henderson, Alroy's wife.
What the Hendersons didn't know was that Tyler on lived one building away at their Chesterfield apartment complex, bringing two neighbors on an unlikely collision course.
It was apartment manager Kristi Fisher who first made the connection, after Carol stopped by the office. The subject of Alroy's transplant came up, and Fisher asked her if they knew the donor.
"She mentioned that they knew it had come from a 15 year old boy and that's about all they knew," said Fisher, who immediately thought of Tyler and his family, which is who she called.
Ken Davidson was stunned.
"She gave me a call," said Ken. She said 'well, I'm not sure if I should tell you this but I think I know who has one of Tyler's kidneys.'"
After some research, Ken was able to confirm that their neighbor indeed had Tyler's kidney. A few weeks later, Ken and the Hendersons decided to meet.
"Meeting him was overwhelming because you still have someone that lost someone, but yet they were so kind to know that their sons kidney was living on," said Carol.
Now the families see each other a few times a week.
"I would rather have him back here but it's nice to know that he's really helped some wonderful people," said Ken.
Doctors tell us it is very uncommon for organ recipients to meet their donors, usually a long and drawn out process.
Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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