(CNN) — A South Carolina woman whose husband tried to find a donor kidney for her for nearly a year by wearing a sandwich board on the streets of their city has gotten one — and it’s working “A-OK,” her husband told CNN.
Jimmy Sue Swilling’s donor, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, had one request, though, before the transfer. She wanted the surgery to take place on September 11, to honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for their country.
The donor’s wish was granted.
Larry Swilling, Jimmy Sue’s husband, said the woman, who they only met the day before the surgery, was up and walking hours after the procedure last week.
“It’s pretty hard for someone who don’t know you to do something like that. She’s a hero,” Swilling said of the donor. “Being in the service for 21 years, she is a true American and she’s what America is built on, heart and soul.”
The donor heard about the couple from news reports about Swilling’s efforts to find someone willing to give up one of their kidneys.
“NEED KIDNEY 4 WIFE” said the sign he wore on a sandwich board over his shoulders as he walked the streets of Anderson, South Carolina. The same message was plastered on his pickup truck.