BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A husband’s efforts and a wife’s fighting spirit has finally paid off.
Keli Thorn was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease more than a decade ago. Back in September of 2019, doctors told her she needed a kidney transplant sooner rather than later.
That’s when her husband, Aaron Thorn, stepped up to the plate, holding the sign in Bridgewater Falls.
For Aaron though, standing out there meant he had to overcome some fears.
“I was scared, it was right after I had brain surgery,” Aaron recalls. “Cars whipping by, it was crazy, but it was so worth it. And we want to be an encouragement to other people in our community that are going through the same thing, looking for a kidney donation. We want to be an encouragement to them.”
Thorn stood outside with the sign and even created a website to help find a kidney for his wife of 22 years, Keli Thorn.
Thankfully for Keli, her story reached a woman in Pittsburgh. The woman found out she was a match for Keli.
Keli underwent successful surgery on Tuesday after finding her donor a few months ago.
The process has been a build-up of emotions for Aaron.
“It’s like being at the finish line and being in a dark cloud,” says Aaron. “A storm for a year and now, as of this morning, we woke up, and I looked over at the window, and I could see the sun shining.”
Today, Aaron is feeling grateful that the surgery was a success after Cheyenne Frappier, a Pittsburgh woman, donated her kidney.
“Breathing a little bit better now knowing that everybody’s safe in the midst of this pandemic,” said Aaron. “We did it, and we did it with our community. We just really want the community to know how thankful we are for this opportunity.”
Through the tears, Aaron says his wife is a trooper.
“I told her today, you know, over time I don’t think she realized how sick she was and how much better she’s going to feel,” said Aaron.
Aaron now wants better things for others going through the same situation.
“There is hope. Reach out to your community,” Aaron says. “There are people that love you from all over this country.”
The website Aaron started for his wife, KidneyforKeli, isn’t going away.
Aaron says he plans on turning it over to someone else in need of a kidney. He’ll also give that person all the resources he used as a way to pay it forward.
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