Clarksville councilman to donate kidney to man in need - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Clarksville councilman to donate kidney to man in need

Posted: Updated:
CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

He has been a strong advocate for soldiers and their families since taking office, but now one Middle Tennessee councilman is going above and beyond the call of duty.

Clarksville Ward 1 Councilman Nick Steward heard about a friend whose kidney was failing, so he rolled up his sleeves and discovered he's a donor match.

Now, Steward is preparing to donate a kidney.

"It's a horrible disease," said organ recipient Wiley Bird. "The older you get, eventually your kidneys just stop."

Bird began losing use of his kidneys 12 years ago due to polycystic disease, and after a year of dialysis his doctors found a match. But a decade later, that kidney also started to fail.

The likelihood of finding another was slim, or so the 56-year-old thought.

"Found out through the Facebook page that we had the same blood type," Steward said.

When Steward isn't at City Hall, he's a realtor at Keller Williams, where he met Bird's wife, Kitty, three years ago.

She had started an online push called "Wiley's Kidney Kampaign" to raise awareness and find a donor.

"Probably about two weeks after I found out, I started thinking about the kidney donation process, did some of my research online and reached out to Wiley and told him I was interested in being tested," Steward said.

It turns out he's a perfect match, so next month the two will check into Vanderbilt University Medical Center for the transplant.

"I was very, very fortunate. They say for a transplant you can be on a list waiting for a donor for three to five years, and so this was another miracle," Bird said.

"Looking at someone else's quality of life, if you could help someone and still continue your own life, why wouldn't you at least try," Steward said.

It's a decision bonding the two families together in friendship and, now, in life.

"He might be giving me three weeks of his life, but I'm getting a lifetime. I'll never be able to pay him back," Bird said.

The surgeries are expected to last about three hours and the recovery time is about three weeks. Bird said, after the surgery, he'll have to reduce his protein intake, avoid contact sports and watch his blood pressure.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Couple arrested for having sex on public beach in broad daylight

    Couple arrested for having sex on public beach in broad daylight

    BRADENTON BEACH, FL (WFLX) - People are outraged after a Florida couple was caught having sex on a public beach Sunday afternoon in front of dozens of people including children. Bradenton Beach policeMore >>
    People are outraged after a Florida couple was caught having sex on a public beach Sunday afternoon in front of dozens of people including children.More >>
  • Are Louisville food trucks making the grade?

    Are Louisville food trucks making the grade?

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:06:24 GMT
    WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter Eric Flack's investigation into food trucks last summer was one of his most talked about stories in years. His undercover video and health department interviews stirred a fiery response. Now, a new report about food truck safety has been released by the Institute for Justice, and it's good news for the industry and food truck operators.More >>
    WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter Eric Flack's investigation into food trucks last summer was one of his most talked about stories in years. His undercover video and health department interviews stirred a fiery response. Now, a new report about food truck safety has been released by the Institute for Justice, and it's good news for the industry and food truck operators.

    More >>
  • Armed robbers continue to target fast food restaurants

    Armed robbers continue to target fast food restaurants

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:20:47 GMT
    They are popular, successful and most of the time they are safe places to be, but now police are investigating the third fast food robbery in as many weeks.More >>
    They are popular, successful and most of the time they are safe places to be, but now police are investigating the third fast food robbery in as many weeks.More >>