Don Thomas is a longtime regular at the Hooters in Roswell. However, it is not the beer or the chicken wings that bring him back, it’s the kindness of one of the waitresses.
Mariana Villarreal, of Roswell, Georgia, was only recently hired by her local Hooters as a waitress, but had already gotten to know a few of the regulars. One of those regulars is Thomas, who has been visiting at that location for some time. While working one night, Villarreal was talking to Thomas when he told her about his condition that may have ended up costing him his life if he wasn’t able to get treatment.
“Mariana had only been here a short time,” Thomas told WXIA. “I just barely knew her when she made the offer.”
According to Mad World News, Thomas had lost both of his kidneys. If he did not have a transplant, he would be on dialysis indefinitely.
“I said, ‘Well I have two kidneys, do you want one of mine?'” Villarreal recalled.
Mariana says she does not know Thomas outside of work, but that she felt a higher calling to help out when he told her about his condition. Villarreal says that her grandmother recently died of kidney failure.
“I wasn’t able to do anything for my grandma,” she said, “If [Don] can live two more years, happy as he’s ever been, that’s fine with me. That’s not up to me. I did my part, now it’s God’s turn to keep him alive.”
Both Mariana and Don went through with their respective procedures and Dr. Harrison Pollinger, a program director at the Piedmont Transplant Institute, says that they should both be able to live healthy lives after their recovery.
“You can live your whole life with one just kidney,” Pollinger said, “You only need one kidney for normal kidney function.”
On May 29, the transplant was completed and doctors confirmed that it was a great success. Both Mariana and Don were recovering and are expected to be perfectly healthy.
Don and Mariana are sharing their story to encourage others to donate to those in need.
“Mariana and I are just two normal people, one who needs help – me -and Mariana who is so willing to give help,” said Don.
“A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is – relatively – to give someone a new life,” Chris Bond of the Georgia Transplant Foundation told WXIA.
Readers shared their thoughts on the touching story on the Mad World News Facebook page.
“A gift of life from an Angel! Thank you young lady for caring about others in need. God bless you and your family…..” One reader commented.
“Its so refreshing to hear good news or how someone did something above and beyond for another person, bad news gets old fast and its contagious,” another user wrote.