Mom of 2 Donates her Kidney to Save Another Mom’s Life
February 4, 2019
When she accompanied her 8-year-old to his tae kwon do studio in October 2018, a Georgia mom named Amanda Hayhurst had no idea her life was about to change. Hayhurst was waiting for her eldest with her younger son when she spied a flyer that had been posted by one of the studio's employees Courtney Knight. Courtney's mother Vonchelle is a 50-year-old single mom of two who had been searching for a kidney donor for eight years.
“Typically, I would never read a flyer like that but it pulled me in,” Hayhurst, 32, told Good Morning America. “I knew before I finished reading that we were going to be a match. I just knew it.”
The Decatur, Georgia mom thought to herself, “If not me, who? She is on this list and none of her friends and family are a match.”
Inspired to take action, Hayhurst had extensive testing done to make sure her kidney would work for Knight. In December 2018, she got confirmation that she was a perfect match for Knight.
“It felt like Christmas to me,” said Hayhurst, who had only let her husband, Marcus, know what she was doing. “I was so excited to meet her and tell her.”
Hayhurst went back to the tae kwon do studio and chatted with Knight's daughter. The two then headed to Knight's house to surprise her after work. Hayhurst later posted a video of the encounter, during which she told Knight that she was a match and that the operation would take place in January. The incredibly emotional moment lead to many tears shed and a long, warm embrace between the two moms.
“We cried for like two hours and just talked,” Hayhurst said. “We talked and cried and I held her. It was just really sweet."
Knight, an analyst in the bone marrow transplant unit of a local hospital, was first diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 2004, GMA reports. She was put on dialysis in 2013, and had since spent nine hours daily hooked up to the machine, which she used while she slept. She was unable to travel and often experienced fatigue and cramps.
Despite all of these challenges, Knight didn't lose hope. “I knew God was telling me he had a blessing for me, and it was going to be big,” she said. “He just told me to be still and quiet and in time it would be revealed, then Amanda showed up, and it was one of the greatest moments.”
Knight called Hayhurst's donation “very special gift,” one that she will “cherish always.”