SACRAMENTO, Calif — The power of prayer.
Kiara Harris was on dialysis for eight years. During that time, she also suffered from lupus, a stroke and other medical complications. She kept the faith and says the power of prayer, and the generosity from a complete stranger, saved her life.
"At Unity of Sacramento, the prayer chaplains there would have prayer retreats just to pray for me." Harris said, adding she remembers how hard her friends, family, and church prayed for a miracle. "There's people who decide that this is too much and they stop going. Their life is over typically within a week or two."
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A member of Unity of Sacramento started the kidney donation process after finding out she was a match. But one day, changed everything.
"I had had dialysis that day, came home, did my normal routine and I get a phone call that says, we need you to get to Stanford," Harris said.
It was a happy day for Harris. She was about to receive a kidney. But, for almost every positive organ transplant story, there is sad reality that someone else's life was impacted. Deborah Ott lost her son Derek in an accident.
"[I am] grateful to him and grateful to his mom who thought enough of someone else's life, a strangers life, to give me another chance at life," said Harris. "He actually was able to give life to five people through his death."
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Harris, and the four other organ recipients, were given a second chance at life, as well as a second mother in their life. Ott stays connected to her son after building relationships with the lives he saved.
"She's lost her son, but she called me today because it's my birthday.," Harris said. "She called to say 'Happy Birthday' so it's like I have a new family."
A stranger's donation ultimately saved her life. Harris says she would never have made it to that point without her unwavering faith.
"I could not have done it," Harris said. "You can't carry that weight without faith, without believing that your day is going to come. Never give up, Never give up. Never believe it when they say there's a one in a million shot for you. We're not going to be able to find a match for you."
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April Simmons of Rancho Cordova walks several miles a day and goes out with her "I need a kidney" T-shirt. She started it this summer.