Tom Hobday got strep throat while serving a tour of duty in Vietnam. Left untreated, it attacked his kidneys. "They found it on my exit physical when I was leaving the Army. Shortly after that I bought some life insurance that was rated. And I was good at math and backed into the actuary tables and came up with a projected date of death which was 30 years."
That date on the calendar was September, 1995. Six months before that, his kidneys failed. His wife donated one of hers. They were pioneers in the living donor transplant program. But that kidney only lasted 17 years and this past February, Tom again went into kidney failure. "My wife started to, we both started to look for someone in the community who might be willing to come forward or family member or whatever and in this little town 15 people stepped forward."
Unfortunately, none was a match.
Just two years before, Hayley Adamski had moved to Truckee. Her boss told her about Tom and without even knowing him, she agreed to be his donor. "I'd never been in surgery before. I'd never even had my tonsils out so I didn't know what to expect. But life is full of unexpected and again if I could help anyone I was just glad I could help somebody."
Tom and Hayley headed down to UC Davis and on February 28th of this year, Hayley's healthy kidney was taken out of her and put into Tom... saving his life. These two near strangers are now bonded by a kidney they fondly refer to as "little bean."
Tom is now in good health and Hayley is healthier than most people her age with two kidneys. And this Christmas, they will be spending together... remembering the true meaning of the holiday season which is to take care of one another. "Oh she's family. We're really close friends on top of it but she's family. She's like a daughter, she's a special young gal."
This story is part of the Donate Life Nevada "I Am Hope" campaign featuring stories of hope and inspiration from Nevada residents. You can see this story and others on Donate Life Nevada's Facebook at www.facebook.com/donatelifenevada and to register as an organ donor go to www.donatelifenevada.orgWritten By Wendy Damonte