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Positively San Diego: Families united by life-saving kidney donation

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Posted at 4:35 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 21:41:23-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Two families changed forever by a kidney donation met Thursday, one year after the life-changing gift.

10News first met James Wellman in 2017. His kidneys were down to 5 percent function. Wellman, who has autism and Down syndrome, was repeatedly rejected from the donor list.

“Of course it was a devastating blow, to hear each time, no we are not going to give you the life-saving procedure that he needs.”

Paul Williams saw Williams’ story on 10News and decided to help.

RELATED: San Diegan donates kidney to man in need

“I had begun praying some time ago, is there something that God wanted me to do to help somebody else out,” Williams said.

Williams donated his kidney to Wellman in 2018.

“He’s a savior, he saved our son’s life,” said Wellman’s mother, Kathleen. “We didn’t know Paul then, but we saw this box, the box marked perishable, this brown box that they ran into Children’s Hospital with Paul’s kidney.”

The families will now be connected.

“Oh, it’s wonderful seeing that James is doing so well and everything is good, so good,” said Williams.

Wellman is now in good health, enjoying swimming and art classes.

“To put it simply: God allowed me to do that, and that’s something I’ll be forever thankful for,” Williams said. “We have the opportunity to make things better around us if we choose to do that.”

The families said they plan to start a tradition and meet every year on the anniversary of the transplant surgery to celebrate.