Veteran saved by kidney donations from family

April 9, 2013 2:21:55 PM PDT
For most of his life, 68-year-old Willie West served others as a soldier in Vietnam and in the Gulf War as a loving husband and a father.

Eight years ago, it was west who needed help.

"I went directly to the VA hospital, and I think I stayed overnight there," he said.

West's kidney was shutting down and he was in trouble.

Fortunately at the time, he had an angel on his side.

"I was on dialysis for a while, and my daughter came by to see me, and she decided to become a donor," West said.

West's daughter helped her dad in a generous way, giving a piece of her to him.

8 years later, that once healthy kidney from his daughter is no longer functioning.

Time is limited for the 68-year-old and the donor list is long.

West's family even set up a Facebook page called "Let's Find a Kidney for Willie" to look for potential donors.

Fortunately for Willie West, another angel has stepped forward.

"My mother donated a kidney so I thought why not I do it. I see my mom, she's a strong woman," Imani Lindsey said.

23-year-old Lindsey is following in her mother's footsteps and has agreed to donate a kidney to her grandfather.

"Why not have someone who you love and adore - live," she said.

Lindsey says she's not scared.

"You could still function on one kidney," she said.

In fact, she's excited about adding more years to her grandfather's life. The procedure will happen this month at Mount Sinai.

"To know that there are people in your family care that much," West said. "I just want my family to know that I really do appreciate them."

Two generations of one family helping a third generation in need.


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