South Jordan man gives gift of life to stranger

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SOUTH JORDAN -- Twenty-year-old Ryann Proctor loves her country music; 23-year-old Darrick Worsley likes rap.

Ryann graduated from Riverton High School. Darrick is a Bingham High School graduate.

But thanks to Darrick's sister Meera, Darrick and Ryann have more in common than most.

"He is a sweetheart, nice kid, best big brother," Meera Worsley says.

Big brother Darrick became an incredible sweetheart when he found out Meera's friend Ryann had a very serious illness called glomerulonephritis, an inflammatory disease of the kidneys.

Ryann's kidneys were failing at age 15. After four years of nightly dialysis, Ryann told Meera she needed a transplant.

"She went home and was like, ‘Mom, my friend Ryann needs a kidney,' just at family dinner," Ryann said.

"I didn't think anything of it. I thought they'd just be like, ‘Oh, cool … hopefully she gets one,'" Meera said.

But Darrick stepped up to the plate.

"I'm like, ‘Oh, I'll do it,'" Darrick said.

"It was just kind of like, ‘You're thinking about giving me your kidney and you don't even know me?'" Ryann said.

But that wasn't all.

"[It was] kind of a long shot, ‘cause I'm adopted, so I'm from India -- a kid from India that's adopted and a girl from Riverton, Utah," Darrick said.

Despite the long shot, Darrick got tested, and everything, it turned out, was just right.

"I didn't believe it," Ryann said. "I was in my room when Meera called me."

"I was so happy for her," Meera said.

"I told her I was a 100 percent match," Darrick said.

"Then I just started crying ‘cause I didn't know what to do," Ryann said.

So, it was a date. On December 11, 2009, both went to University Hospital in Salt Lake City for transplant surgery.

"I was so excited," Darrick said. "It was an early operation, so we had to wake up at like 4:30."

"Our rooms were right next to each other -- like pre-surgery rooms," Ryann said. "We took a couple of pictures before, and he was like, ‘Good luck!' And I was like, ‘You too!'"

The operation was a huge success: from the assistant football coach at Bingham High to the freshman at Utah Valley University.

"It was cool to know she was just going to get better from that point on," Darrick said. "She deserves it."

"Its just crazy to think about how big of a difference it is and how someone can change your life so fast," Ryann said.

"It's just amazing. It's a miracle," Meera said. "He's just a hero in a lot of people's eyes."

But Darrick said he was just doing what his parents taught him: helping others. He just went a giant step further and saved a life.

Ryann said since her surgery, she's taken on one of Darrick's attributes: a big appetite. She will now have to take anti-rejection medicine for the rest of her life.


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Kathy Aiken


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