MONTGOMERY, Ind. (WTHI) - During this pandemic, we've tried to find the good that's happening around the Wabash Valley. Look no further than Daviess County where one man saved his neighbor's life by donating his kidney.
Tony Duncheon went into his doctor's office for routine bloom work three years ago. After some tests, his doctor told him he better start looking for a kidney donor. Waiting for a deceased donor may take three to four years. After waiting and waiting, Duncheon finally found what he was looking for right down the road.
Duncheon knew he had to finally go public with his situation. After more than two years of waiting, he needed a live kidney donor. He was amazed by the number of people willing to help him out in his Montgomery community, but he didn't have to look far after all.
Ken Delaney, Duncheon's neighbor, heard about the situation through his daughter and threw his kidney in the ring.
"I said, 'hey, tell him to put my name in there'," Delaney recalled, "To be honest with you, I didn't think anything of it because I just didn't think I would ever be chosen."
"Ken stepped up, took all the tests, and he was what was called the perfect match so he got the nod," Duncheon said with a smile.
It was decided. On May 6th, IU Health in Indianapolis performed the first kidney transplant since COVID-19 hit the state. Both men say the doctors took extra precautions and they felt like it couldn't have gone smoother.
"I'm doing great," Delaney said, "I'm still just a little sore but I'm doing fine."
"I still got some recovery to do but I'm feeling really good," Duncheon said, "All my numbers are good so he [Ken] gave me a flying high kidney because it's working well."
Duncheon says the message he wants to sen with this story is to pay it forward.
"I owe everything to Ken here because I'm back to normal," Duncheon concluded, "I am deeply thankful for him and the process went great."
"I just thought, you know, I've got two good [kidneys] and Tony has none," Delaney explained, "I wouldn't think much of myself if I kept these and not share."
Delaney says you shouldn't be nervous to donate a kidney during COVID-19 or anytime. Both men say their life expectancies are normal and it's a smooth, easy, and gratifying process.