Dena Parry knew Wayne Dempsey as just a name on a prayer list when she stood up in Sunday school class and offered to give him one of her kidneys. After all, Mrs. Parry has three of them.
Three years ago, doctors thought Mrs. Parry, 40, had an ulcer and discovered instead that she has a duplicate left kidney.
"You're definitely talking about a rare thing," said Dr. Alvin Moss, a West Virginia University kidney specialist.
About the same time Mrs. Parry's third kidney was discovered, Dempsey, now 50, found out he had severe kidney disease and is dependent on a dialysis machine.
The operation is scheduled for next month.
Dempsey's daughter was ruled out as a donor because her kidney was not compatible, and his sister was turned down because the necessary removal of a rib during surgery would complicate a previous back injury. The family was ready to put Dempsey on the national donor's list when Mrs. Parry called.
Dempsey said he and wife, Pamela, wept for joy when they got the word.