Florence Pastor donates his kidney to parishioner

Florence Pastor donates his kidney to parishioner

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - One local pastor's kidney donation helped save two lives.

The Pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word said he knew he had to do something to help one of his parishioners.

"I'm saved by his grace, by his love. How can I then show that love to people around me?" Reverend Matthew Jeffords, Pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word said.

This coming Sunday, Rev. Jeffords will be back in the pulpit after some brief time off. He had one of his kidneys removed to help save one of the members of his congregation.

"We we're getting worried that we weren't going to have him much longer if we didn't do something about it," Rev. Jeffords said.

Richard Page was diagnosed with Kidney Failure. The reverend said watching Page suffer was rough on the congregation.

"When he first came to us, he was actively working as a pharmacist and his various health issues made him not be able to work anymore. His health was deteriorating. His activity in the church never ceased at all," Rev. Jeffords said.

The pastor said he knew that he could help.

"We all have our various vocations by God to serve our neighbors and their need.  The fact that I had two healthy kidneys… that was the answer right there, I didn't need anything more than that," Rev. Jeffords said.

Two weeks ago, the two had surgery at Duke, but the kidney that Reverend Jeffords gave is not the kidney that's in Page today.

Turns out, the Reverend and Page both had different blood types.

Jeffords said during transplants doctors like for blood types to be the same. The two decided to entered a new kidney paring program. Basically, the reverend's Kidney went to an unknown patient and Page got a Kidney from another donor.

Now, after the surgery both Page and the Reverend Jeffords are expected to make a full recovery and there are plans in the works to meet the third person who benefited from the donation.

"I'd like to know who I gave life to essentially what an awesome thing to be able to do that," Rev. Jeffords said.

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