Mother donates kidney to SC man in need after seeing message on other mom’s car

A South Carolina mother’s stop at Walmart was the start to saving another mom’s son.

Lashonda Pugh parked her car in the lot of the Walmart in West Ashley just outside Charleston where she’d worked for the last 14 years. That’s where Starr Gardy saw the vehicle that had a message written on it.

The message said Pugh’s 24-year-old son, Daniel Jones, needed a kidney.

Mutliple outlets reported on the story of Gardy, Pugh, her son and their chance meeting that led to Jones receiving a kidney donation.

Jones suffered from a genetic condition called Alport Syndrome which required him to undergo dialysis three times a week, according to a GoFundMe set up for Jones.

Gardy saw the message on Pugh’s car at the Walmart about six months ago, ABC News 4 reported.

“I can’t really explain it; it just completely moved me,” Gardy told ABC News 4. “I took a picture of it and I went in Walmart and I was shopping, and all I could picture was someone in there who had this weight on their shoulders.”

Gardy went through testing and was able to donate her one of her kidneys after several months.

On Wednesday the three met at a Charleston hospital, and, while a donor usually remains anonymous, the families of Gardy and Pugh discovered each other in the waiting room, WOLO reported.

Pugh posted on social media that Gardy gave “my son a second chance at life.”

“I would like to give God all the praise and glory,” Pugh said in a post. “A little over two years ago we were told that my son Daniel would have to do dialysis due to his kidney disease. During that time we had some good times and some bad times. Even still, through the bad times my son still managed to pull through. Our faith remained the same. I would like to thank our family and friends, those of you who continue to pray with us and everyone who continues to show their support for Daniel. ... Most of all I would like to THANK his donor who went unselfishly and got tested.”

The transplant was successful, ABC News 4 reported.

“It’s a lot knowing that I have her organ in my body,” Jones told News 4. “We’re family now. She’s not just a stranger anymore; she’s my aunt.”

Jones and Gardy are recovering.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.