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A man didn't have to donate his kidney to get one for his daughter. But he did anyway


Now a story of unconditional giving - back in 2020, as the United Kingdom was locking down from the pandemic, 16-year-old Seren Jones was in the hospital in Cardiff, Wales. She didn't have COVID, but her kidneys were failing. Her father, 69-year-old Arfon Jones, says things were dire.

ARFON JONES: They removed one of her kidneys, and she immediately, then, was seriously ill with pneumonia. We didn't know whether she was going to get through it, to be quite honest with you.


Two months later, Seren had her other kidney removed.

JONES: She was on hemodialysis for a while after that, but then on peritoneal dialysis, which meant that she was stuck to a machine for 10 hours every night. It wasn't a nice experience for a young girl.

SHAPIRO: Seren desperately needed one good kidney, but she was adopted, and her parents weren't a match. So they joined the living-donors list through the U.K.'s National Health Service.

JONES: So my kidney might be a match for somebody somewhere else in the U.K. They might have a relative who has a kidney who was a match for somebody else, and it comes around in a circle to Seren, but that didn't actually happen.

SUMMERS: After months on dialysis, Seren found a match outside the circle. That meant Arfon could take his name off the donor list, but that's not what he did.

JONES: The first thought that crossed my mind - and it was as if I heard God's voice telling me, there's another Seren out there somewhere that needs your kidney.

SHAPIRO: So he stayed on the list, and in December, he donated a kidney to a stranger.

SUMMERS: He hasn't heard from the person who now has his kidney, and he has no plans to meet them.

JONES: I'm not expecting that. I'm quite comfortable with the fact that I've been able to give somebody a nice Christmas present.

SHAPIRO: Arfon Jones says he's feeling fine after his surgery, and Seren's new kidney has, quote, "totally transformed her life for the better."

(SOUNDBITE OF MARSHA AMBROSIUS' "FAR AWAY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.