In this season of giving, one man's chance encounter produced a big, life-saving gift.
For 20 years, 55-year-old Gil Alexander has been struggling with two failing kidneys. The fourth-generation farmer from Nicodemus, KS, had to spend hours on dialysis.
"You know, four hours a day during harvest when you need to be busy with planting or harvest - it's a big chunk out of your day. Plus you don't feel that well after doing dialysis treatment," Alexander said.
But he said his life has been changed forever after having a kidney transplant at the University of Kansas Medical Center three days ago.
It's all thanks to hunter Rob Robinson from Mississippi who showed up on his doorstep a year ago and asked for permission to hunt turkey on his northwest Kansas farm.
"He pitched a tent out in my backyard and I finally convinced him that it's cool to come in the house. We got to talking and got to be friends," Alexander said.
"I got him watching SEC football and he has me watching K-State," Robinson said.
When Robinson learned his Kansas friend needed a kidney transplant, he didn't hesitate to be tested to see if he was a match.
"I hate to see anybody hurting and restricted. I've been active and farmers are active I said, 'let's see what happens,'" he said.
What happened was the two men were a match and they soon looked to the donation. Doctors said both men had successful surgeries and getting a kidney from a live donor will be much better for Alexander.
"Not only the bond the donor has with recipient, but that kidney (from a live donor) usually last longer than an average deceased donor kidney by three to five years," said Dr. Sean Kumer, surgical director of the liver transplant.
Both Alexander and Robinson are men of faith and they believe this was divine intervention. They point to the Bible, specifically Hebrews 13:2, as the real message behind their special bond.
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."
"To paraphrase it of course it's be careful your treatment of strangers because you never know when you might be entertaining angels unaware. And that's my angel right there," Alexander said.
Now that he's no longer tied to a dialysis machine, Alexander said he's planning a trip to Mississippi to visit Robinson and his wife to keep the special friendship going strong.
"I've said this before, the kidney thing is just a bonus. Rob is just a good guy," Alexander said. "I mean we'd be friends if it wasn't the kidney involved. He's cool to be around. He's teaching me about turkey hunting and deer hunting."
"I was just trying to be a good guy," Robinson said.
Doctors said Robinson will be able to return to his active life as a hunter and firefighter and his remaining kidney will pick up the slack and work just fine.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
(RNN) - British officials are saying one man is dead and two others were injured in a possible terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.According to BBC News, eyewitnesses said man was attacked in a streetMore >
One man is dead after two men attacked him in broad daylight with knives and meat cleavers. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:03 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:03:38 GMT
Tuesday afternoon proved a bit tricky as severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issued for portions of northern Connecticut, and according to the Channel 3 Early Warning Center, more storms areMore >
A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the four northern counties until 10 p.m.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-22 18:15:59 GMT
A Thomaston woman was arrested after police said cocaine was found in her 17-month-old son's system.Jaime Bennett, 31, said she brought her son to a local hospital after she noticed he wasn't acting likeMore >
A Thomaston woman was arrested after police said cocaine was found in her 17-month-old son's system.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:51 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:51:37 GMT
Officials with the Connecticut Citizens' Defense League announced Wednesday that a lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut that will challenge the constitutionality of the new gunMore >
Officials with the Connecticut Citizens' Defense League announced Wednesday that a lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut that will challenge the constitutionality of the new gun laws in the state.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 3:23 PM EDT2013-05-22 19:23:01 GMT
State police are searching for the person or people responsible who robbing a bank Wednesday afternoon and lead to officials placing a nearby school in lockdown.Officers were called to a bank robber atMore >
State police are searching for the person or people responsible for robbing a bank Wednesday afternoon, which led to officials placing a nearby school in lockdown.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:24 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:24:27 GMT
A water main break in Middletown is expected to cause the major traffic problems Wednesday night. A water main break was reported on Newfield Street, according to Mayor Dan Drew."The heavy water flowingMore >
A water main break in Middletown caused major traffic problems during the evening rush hour commute Wednesday night.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 3:59 PM EDT2013-05-22 19:59:54 GMT
A Cromwell man is accused of voyeurism after police said he posted an "intimate video" was posted to the Internet. Edward Taupier, 47, was arrested at his home Wednesday morning and charged with voyeurismMore >
A Cromwell man is accused of voyeurism after police said he posted an "intimate video" was posted to the internet.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:07 PM EDT2013-05-22 20:07:18 GMT
A Simsbury man was arrested after he was accused of being in possession of child pornography.Christopher S. Lyons, 49, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree possession of child pornography.More >
A Simsbury man was arrested after he was accused of being in possession of child pornography.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >