Pastor, Parishioner One Year After Kidney Transplant - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/09/05

Pastor, Parishioner One Year After Kidney Transplant

If someone you knew needed a vital organ to live, would you be willing to donate it? What if the person wasn't even related to you? It's a decision one church congregation faced over a year ago, and they haven't looked back since.

As Daniel Baptist Church in Richmond Hill celebrated Mother's Day, they also celebrated renewed life, life that was almost taken a year ago.

For ten years, Ken Biber has battled diabetes and had taken a turn for the worse when we introduced you to him last year. Doctors weren't hopeful.

"They told me the kidneys are gone, and put me on dialysis in the hospital," he said. "That's how far gone they were."

With his kidneys failing, Biber was fading fast and needed a transplant immediately. And he didn't have to go far. He found a donor in his own church. His pastor, Alfred Banks.

Pastor Banks says his decision came from prayer. "I saw them taking one of my kidneys and giving it to someone who needed it, so I said, 'Okay, I'll help.' It was that simple."

The men are not even blood related, but the kidney was a perfect match. The surgery went so well, even the doctors are amazed at Biber's recovery.

"I went to work two months after the transplant," he said.

Both men say leaning on their faith got them to this point. "God just worked everything out," said the pastor. "I was the first person tested, no blood relation, a perfect match from the beginning to end. God was in this from the beginning."

And they still feel His presence today. Pastor Banks suffers no ill side effects from the transplant, feeling "110 percent. And that's on bad days."

And Biber says he felt a difference immediately. "I feel much better than I have in 10 years. It's truly a miracle."

But he knows there's still a long road ahead. "I take 21 pills a day."

But it's a road he'll gladly travel with his pastor and friend by his side.

Pastor Banks will travel to Jacksonville on Tuesday for his one-year checkup. Ken Biber will have his the following week.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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