Grab your box of tissues, you may need them for this story.
Larry Swilling is a devoted husband to wife Jimmie Sue. The South Carolina couple has been married for 57 years. But now that health complications are threatening to cut his wife’s life short, Swilling is doing all he can to find a kidney donor to save her life.
“She’s my heart,” Swilling says. His efforts to save his wife include marching up and down the streets of South Carolina with a sandwich board begging any passerby with a lead to call him.
According to the New York Daily News, Jimmie Sue was born with only one kidney, which started failing last December. While the donor wait list is long and it could take years for a match, Larry isn’t leaving her fate up to chance:
“I’m 78 years old, but I still work, I still have to,” Swilling explained, citing the overwhelming costs of Jimmie Sue’s medications. “We’re just hoping every day, every minute, we get the call to head to Charleston for a transplant.”
Jimmie Sue has been working with the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She needs a donor with O+ blood. Her husband said he was quite disappointed when he found out he himself could not be a donor.
“I was hoping it would be me,” Shilling said. “I’m in good shape. But I’m A+. We have three kids – two boys and a daughter, and they’re all A+.”
CBS News recently highlighted Shilling’s efforts to find his wife a donor viable:
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are more than 118,700 people in the U.S. waiting for organs.
“She’s in good health other than the kidney,” Swilling says. “We need all the hope and prayers we can get.”
If you or someone you know could be a possible donor for Jimmie Sue Swilling, please call MUSC’s transplant center at 1-800-277-8687, or visit www.muschealth.com/transplant.