How two strangers shared a transplant miracle
Luke Benoit and Sadies Farley crossed paths at NewSpring, but their live-saving connection was made in heaven. Watch the video
Luke Benoit knew it was a big ask. But he also had a big God.
Luke’s kidney disease, which left him weak, breathless, and limited his daily activities, had worsened to end-stage kidney failure and daily dialysis. Now he was facing a three-to-five year wait on a transplant list.
Luke believed God wanted to heal him, so he turned to Facebook to ask for a living donor. Finding someone willing to sacrifice one of their organs was the only way he could get a kidney any quicker, doctors told him.
God really touched my heart and said, “You will have a new kidney.”
WATCH: Deafness didn’t stop me from hearing the good news.
Sadies Farley noticed the post about Luke the same day.
All Sadies knew of Luke until then was that he was a deaf man who met Jesus at NewSpring Anderson a year before and was now working to bring the gospel to the deaf community.
Immediately, she felt Luke’s ask was God calling out to her.
So Sadies began a secret, months-long journey to go through the extensive medical testing that would reveal whether she could give Luke one of her kidneys.
“I wanted to make sure on my own that that was what the Lord was calling me to do and it not be an emotional thing on my end,” Sadies says.
READ: Sadies’ journey to becoming a living donor, in her own words.
It was amazing to see how God called her to do something so bold and selfless.
A Rare Calling
Becoming a living donor is very rarely as simple as a straight swap, especially if two people are genetically unrelated.
The typical process involved pairing or cross-matching through a chain of other donors and organ recipients, which can be complex.
Sadies’ results shocked her doctors, nurses and transplant coordinators. The two were an exact match — a 1-in-100,000 occurrence.
The outcome seemed like proof that God had carefully, lovingly orchestrated every step — not only of her own life but also of Luke’s.
The God who had placed people in his life at the right time had done so again.
First, an aunt gave the first opportunity to get away from a troubled home life in Texas and move to South Carolina during high school.
Then a young NewSpring couple invited Luke to live with them, walking with him through his new life as a Christian, the downturn in his health, the doctor visits and dialysis treatments, and then the decision to pursue a critical transplant.
When she surprised Luke with the extraordinary news that she would be his living donor, Luke was simply astounded at God’s grace.
“I was reading my Bible, and God really touched my heart and said, “You will have a new kidney,” Luke recalls. “And two weeks later, Sadies shows up and tells me she’s a match.”
Thankful for Each Other
The new kidney changed Luke’s life.
“I felt like a new person because I could actually breathe. After surgery, I was able to walk 10 miles without getting tired. It was just shocking to me, “ Luke says. “And then I had no more pain — no more joint pain, or cramps, or anything. Just anything I wanted to do, I was able to do.”
Starting out as virtual strangers, Sadies and Luke forged a unique friendship through transplant and recovery that is just as precious — and eternal.
Sadies learned American Sign Language to help her communicate with Luke, using the board game Scrabble to practice words as they hung out.
As a mark of his love, Luke gave Sadies a special sign name as deaf people do — the letter “M” for “Mercedes,” her full first name, next to the corner of the mouth to indicate her smile.
“It was amazing to see how God called her to do something so bold and selfless. She is an amazing woman with faith that inspires all,” Luke says.
Watch the video at the top of the page to see how much Sadies and Luke became thankful to God for each other.