Possible kidney donor steps forward for Henry Co. man

FOX Medical Team

Possible kidney donor steps forward for Henry Co. man

Posted: Updated:
Jessica Brannon has offered to donate a kidney to Larry Miller. Jessica Brannon has offered to donate a kidney to Larry Miller.
HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -

A man who went on a mission to find a kidney donor may have gotten some good news.

The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin first reported on Larry Miller back in July. The Henry County man was actively trying to find a stranger in his community who might be willing to donate a kidney.

The 79-year-old man's kidneys were at 18 percent normal function and failing.

"I really don't want to go on dialysis.  I pray that I don't have to. I pray for a donor to step forward," Miller said at the time.

Miller passed out business cards and flyers all over McDonough and Stockbridge. As it turned out, the stranger he was looking for may have found Larry on McDonough Square.

One day Larry took his flyers to Gritz, which is owned by Greg Burkes.

"He came into the store and said, 'Can I put this up in there?' I looked at it, I very rarely say no to anything, it's always for a good cause," Burkes said.

Burkes stuck the flyer up in the window and that's where Jessica Brannon strolled into the story.

Brannon works directly across the McDonough Square from Gritz at the Square Market.

"It was on one of my off days and I called a friend and we were going to meet for breakfast at Gritz," Brannon said. "So when we went in, I saw his sign in the window...and the part I noticed most was just, 'A veteran needs a kidney.' That made me want to call and help him."

Jessica, who owns a small bakery called Flour Power, lost her grandfather in Vietnam and another young friend in Afghanistan, so she's got a soft spot for veterans.

"And so I thought, ‘Well, I'm young and I'm healthy. If I can help someone, I'll do it,'" said Brannon.

Jessica called Emory University Hospital to see if she could be Larry Miller's match.

"I've done blood testing four times, CAT scans, EKGs, chest x-rays, meetings with the surgeons," Brannon said.

This is where Larry's small town story gets even smaller. He still didn't know about Jessica because the testing process she'd just begun is anonymous.

"I think a week after that I went to a church picnic, and some friends of mine were saying, 'Oh, have you met the Millers? They're customers of yours and they love your cinnamon rolls,'" said Brannon. "Didn't even know we went to the same church; he had recently started going there."

Jessica and Larry have become friends. If they get the final go-ahead they're hoping for from Emory, they'll be linked for life.

"It's mind-boggling.  And I know I thank God every day, and I know my wife does, too," Miller said.

Jessica said she's had no doubts about becoming Larry's donor.

In the earlier story, we also introduced you to Jennifer Doyal. She's a 33-year-old Peachtree City mother of three in kidney failure who started a Facebook page called "Jennifer Needs A Kidney." So far, she has not been able to find a donor.

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