One random stop at a North Carolina flea market for Don and Belinda Herbert would prove to be a lifesaver, but not in a way they would ever have been able to predict.
Belinda just happened to notice the sale happening adjacent to a church. Don wasn’t a big fan of flea markets, so Belinda said she would just take a quick look around.
But Don was a fan of gospel music …
Don waited for a short time until he heard gospel music resonating from the church. Being a gospel singer himself, he decided to satisfy his curiosity and head inside to get a better listen.
That’s when he met Pastor Tim Jones. They struck up a conversation and realized they were both fans of gospel, and Tim invited Don to join the church choir. It turned out to be the beginning of a great friendship, and so much more.
Don was diagnosed with a serious heart condition.
It wasn’t long after that fateful day that Don was diagnosed with a serious heart condition that would require heart surgery, a procedure called cardiac catheterization.
Don was no stranger to health issues and had battled some other diseases in the past. It was because of that history that Don’s risk was very high for this procedure. The strength of his kidneys had been compromised and there was no way he could have it done without first having a kidney transplant.
They were desperate to do all they could to find a donor.
His wife was understandably shaken and concerned.
“I want the man that I love to live a long life. I want to grow old with him by my side,” Belinda wrote on Facebook, according to Newsner.
Having been told it would most likely take three to five years to get to the top of the kidney donation list, they were desperate to do all they could to find a donor on their own.
When Tim heard of Don’s situation, he wanted to help.
Pastor Tim and Don had, at this point, become good friends. When Tim heard of Don’s need, there was no hesitation in his offer to do what he could to help.
He called Don and Belinda and told them, “I’m not calling you to be a hero or to give you any false hope, but I believe God is showing me something and I would like to try and help you in some way,” according to Newsner.
It was a one in a 20,000 chance.
Tim’s generous offer held some surprises that were soon to be revealed. Little did either of the two know, Tim’s words put to action would multiply. Tim was tested as a potential donor for Don and was an ideal match. So perfect, in fact, that the doctors told them the chances of a match fitting that closely was about one in every 20,000.
Five months after they had met and become friends, Don and Tim found themselves lying side by side in an operating room about to undergo a kidney transplant surgery.
But doctors discovered something they did not expect to find.
Not far into the procedure, doctors discovered something they did not expect to see. Tim had an aneurysm in his kidney. It was a discovery they were later told would have certainly killed Tim had it gone undiscovered. The surgical team was able to address the aneurysm and continue with the transplant anyway.
To this day, they remain best friends.
Tim’s sacrifice saved Don’s life, allowing him to have the heart surgery, but his kindness saved his own life as well. Don’s subsequent heart surgery was a success, and Don and Tim were beyond grateful.
To this day, they remain best friends thanks to a quick stop at a flea market and the shared love of gospel music.