A Philadelphia woman, Leigh Paynter-Martinez, inspired by a highway billboard’s plea for a kidney donation, has become a living kidney donor. She is now using social media to document her experience in an effort to save lives.
In the United States, around 90,000 people await kidney transplants, with only approximately 6,000 willing to be living donors. Some endure nearly a decade of waiting, relying on dialysis and missing out on their former lives.
Leigh was deeply moved by the billboard’s plea, having lost her brother to post-traumatic stress from military service. Determined to make a difference, she registered as an anonymous donor, undergoing various tests. Her surgery took place in August.
Leigh shared her journey on TikTok, highlighting the simplicity and painlessness of the procedure. She noted that the gas and bloating were the most uncomfortable aspects.
Remarkably, her selfless act not only saved one life but two. She received a voucher allowing her to help another in need. Leigh remains anonymous, emphasizing that her only desire is for the recipient to return to a normal life without any obligation.
Leigh Paynter-Martinez’s inspiring story serves as a powerful call to action for others to consider becoming kidney donors.