LifeWay sales rep gives of self
December 20 2002 by Terri Lackey , LifeWay Communications

LifeWay sales rep gives of self | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

LifeWay sales rep gives of self

By Terri Lackey LifeWay Communications

This Christmas, Larry Herbert is preparing to give Wallie Hargrove a present that will take her off a 70,000-person transplant list.

When Herbert, a Broadman & Holman (B&H) sales representative, first met Hargrove in August, he noticed that her arm was black and blue.

"He wanted to know who I had been in a fight with," Hargrove said. "I explained to him I was on kidney dialysis."

A short while later, Herbert made Hargrove an offer that shocked her.

"We were sitting around talking and after 15 or 20 minutes he said, 'I've got two kidneys, I'll give you one,'" Hargrove said.

It wasn't something Herbert had planned.

"I don't normally walk around saying, 'Hey I've got a kidney, anybody want one?'" he said. "I wasn't out looking for it, it just happened. I really think God put us together that day."

Kidney transplant surgery is scheduled for Jan. 14 at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

Herbert, a Methodist who lives in Sherrills Ford, has worked for B&H for six years. Among his duties at the trade book division of LifeWay Christian Resources is selling Bibles, books and other merchandise to the Free Will Baptist Press account in Ayden.

Hargrove has worked there for several years, but just took over the job of buying books for Free Will's four North Carolina stores in August.

She initially doubted that Herbert was serious about donating his kidney.

"Here's this guy I've never met before offering to give me a kidney," she said.

Herbert, a regular blood and plasma donor, was serious. He gave her his blood type card with his telephone number so she could contact the local transplant group at East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine in Greenville.

"I was in a state of shock," Hargrove said. "If I hadn't have been, I would have remembered I couldn't do anything about it myself anyway."

Potential donors must contact the transplant group and offer to give up an organ, she said. "He has to call them so they can make sure he is doing it willingly, and I'm not pressuring him or offering to pay him," Hargrove said. "And he did it."

Herbert not only called the transplant group, he began immediately going through a battery of tests; his latest was an all-day event Nov. 6 at Pitt Memorial Hospital where he was "given every test known to man."

"Even though my wife, Cathy, is a nurse and teaches nursing, that was the first time I had a full physical since 1969 when I got out of the Air Force," he said, noting he works under the premise, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Herbert, 58, said he asked the doctor if his aging kidney would be any good. "The doctor told me the average healthy kidney has a longevity of 140 years."

Earlier, three of Hargrove's family members had failed the donor test, prompting doctors to offer her a kidney from a cadaver, Herbert said. "But she didn't test well for it, so the transplant didn't happen," he said.

Receiving a kidney from a live donor is far superior to getting one from a cadaver donor because fewer people need temporary dialysis afterward, Herbert said.

The organ recipient's insurance company pays for the entire procedure, from start to finish, including the testing.

Herbert, who said he was glad to find out he was in good enough health to give up a kidney, prays the operation works out for both of them, especially Hargrove.

"She's really had some tough times, so at least I'm going to give it a shot," he said. "I'm a Christian, and it just seems like the thing to do."

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Terri Lackey , LifeWay Communications | with 0 comments
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