Pastor to donate kidney to parishioner - WSMV Channel 4

Pastor to donate kidney to parishioner

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Carl Higgins will be receiving a kidney from his pastor Jonathan Trees.(WSMV) Carl Higgins will be receiving a kidney from his pastor Jonathan Trees.(WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Getting a new kidney can be a game of trying to beat the odds.

For thousands of people on the kidney waiting list, a life-saving transplant can be years away.

For one patient the wait is over, and on Tuesday, a living kidney donation will take place at Saint Thomas West Hospital, thanks to a pastor who was a perfect match for his parishioner.

A life-changing moment was put in motion between Jonathan Trees, the pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Nashville, and his parishioner, Carl Higgins.

“It was really a gathering around the table conversations with friends that really began to personalize his story,” said Trees.

It wasn’t until Higgins, who was receiving dialysis treatment at Reach Kidney Care, asked a transplant coordinator to speak at the church that the ball really got rolling.

“We were at Reach Kidney Care. We asked them about coming to Grace Church to do an outreach program. They were willing to do it,” said Higgins.

There were 21 parishioners tested to see if they were a match for Higgins. Trees was a perfect match.

“Kidney donations became a way for us not to just talk about and pray about healing, but become a part of the solution,” said Trees.

Considering more than 2,600 Tennesseans are waiting for a kidney, a pastor isn’t calling it a miracle, but he does see God’s hand in it.

“To walk away from it would have been wrong for us,” said Trees. “We felt like we just need to continue to make an appeal and watch God at work.”

The transplant surgery is scheduled to take place on Tuesday morning. Trees will be going into surgery at 7:30 a.m., while Higgins will follow at 9:30 a.m.

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