Wiregrass man recieves life-saving kidney transplant, finishes college

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Jason Whitman has struggled with his kidneys for some time.

Jason Whitman and Misty Hale stand side-by-side before the kidney transplant. (Source: Jason Whitman)

After realizing manual labor would not work out long term, he began pursuing a degree at Wallace Community College.

“I figured I needed something, once I do get a kidney, not to do the same kind of work I was doing," Whitman said. "Construction work and driving a truck is a little strenuous on one kidney.”

Then, the unthinkable happened while working.

“I slipped," Whitman recalled, "I fell off and landed on my side, and some of the cysts in my kidney busted.”

After the fall, the percentage of function in Whitman's kidneys began to drop rapidly.

He needed a kidney-- and fast. That’s when friend Misty Hale stepped in.

After discovering she was a match, Hale and Whitman scheduled surgery at UAB, which went off without a hitch

“I knew my heart was pulled to that," Hale recalled. "It was just one of those 'I have to try because why not? I’m healthy, I’m able.' ”

Now, Whitman is looking forward to graduating in the fall, forever grateful for his friend.

“It just floored me when I found out," said Whitman. "Even to this day, it just blows my mind that someone would do something like that.”

As for Hale, she could not be more proud.

“He’s done such a great job he’s passed all of his classes with flying colors so you know, there was no hesitation," Hale said.

If you would like to find out more about kidney donation, you can visit the American Kidney Fund website to learn more.