COLUMBUS, Ga — An estimated 93,000 people in America are waiting for a kidney transplant, according to the United Network of Organ Sharing. One of those people is a very brave Valley man named Jimmy McMurray. He’s sharing his story with News 3 in hopes of raising awareness for the need of organ donors and to inspire everyone to remain hopeful, no matter life’s circumstances.
“I feel happy knowing that God is going to bring me, and eventually, bless me with a kidney transplant. I have no worries. I’ve been on dialysis going on three years. I’m just waiting because I know there’s kidney out there with my name on it,” says Jimmy McMurray.
In his 29 years, Jimmy McMurray has faced more health problems than most people face in a lifetime. Hereditary diabetes and high blood pressure have battered his body. Yet, somehow, through all the setbacks, he keeps his attitude upbeat and positive—and his spiritual faith even stronger.
“I’ve been through a lot of things in my life. I mean, God has brought me through many obstacles. I mean, I just continue to hold on, and not give up because God has brought me through many things in my life,” say McMurray.
One year ago, Jimmy’s name was put on the list for a kidney transplant. Every three to four weeks, he calls for a status report, and he’s told his name is moving closer to the top. Until he finds that donor, he will undergo dialysis three times a week. It’s a grueling four-hour process.
“I really can’t work on my job the way that I want to because most of my life revolves around dialysis,” says McMurray.
While passions have flown as America debates healthcare, Jimmy is the face of the nation’s healthcare crisis. Insurance should help him with the transplant and his anti-rejection medicine for a year following the surgery. But he will need the medicine for the rest of his life, and it costs $3,000 – $4,000 per year.
“It’s been pondering in my mind, Am I going to be okay as far as getting things that I need for my transplant, once I get it?” asks McMurray.
But Jimmy is an optimist. And for anyone else facing any sort of problem, he offers this encouragement: “Just don’t give up. Just stay positive. Just stay prayed up because God will see you through anything that you are going through in life.”
If someone is interested in donating a kidney to Jimmy and doctors find they are a suitable match, he is likely to receive his transplant faster. Several of Jimmy’s family members have been tested, but so far they are not suitable matches.