Harker Heights resident Heather Schaefer has made “Be positive” her personal motto. That’s also the sort of blood she has.
It’s just one of the many things she has in common with Roy McIntosh, a New Jersey native whom she initially mistook for a complete stranger.
It’s incredible that she gave me the gift of life, McIntosh remarked of her.
Schaefer came to find a Facebook message from McIntosh’s wife Toshiba in December of last year. Call it a miracle or the ultimate coincidence. McIntosh was in stage five kidney failure, and she requested prayers for him.
Without giving it any thought, Schaefer messaged her.
“We have never even met, so I know this is completely out of our minds. Yet I have a B+ average and good health, “Those were the words, she had written.
“The topic of donations has been something I’ve been investigating recently. I’d love to chat more about this if you’re still on the hunt for a donor.”
Schaefer was the ideal companion.
Schaefer explained that when people questioned whether or not they should pursue their goal, it only served to strengthen their conviction that they should go on with it.
The father of five, McIntosh, finally got a replacement kidney on June 8, 2022, after he had been on dialysis for two years. After not having any contact for two weeks, the two finally had a conversation.
“I see the effect this will have on his whole family in the long run,” he said. “He will live to watch his children become adults. He will be able to support his family in many different ways. That is very lovely.”
They have decided to always wear identical bangles as a symbol of their eternal friendship.
McIntosh explained that the necklace was a token of appreciation for a present she had given him.
Schaefer is hoping his experience will spark interest in live organ donation amongst the general public.