It is no small miracle that Phillip Moreno was at the VFW Post 76 Sunday celebrating a return to health after his second kidney transplant.
Moreno received his first kidney transplant more than a decade ago, after unknowingly contracting Hepatitis C during a military tour in Turkey.
The kidney lasted for 12 years until it failed, causing Moreno’s health to deteriorate. Needing a second transplant, Moreno’s girlfriend, Patricia Doria, created a Facebook page to spread the word about their search for a donor.
“The next day I receive a tip from a woman telling me that she wanted to be tested to see if she was a match," Doria said.
The woman was a match, but she wanted to remain anonymous.
Just moments before heading into the operating room for surgery last November, Moreno got a visitor.
“I said, ‘I know that lady,’” he recalled.
He recognized her because they had met before.
The woman generous enough to donate her kidney was an ex-girlfriend of Moreno’s son.
She told him that her decision to donate her kidney was due in part to the kindness Moreno showed her four children while she dated his son.
“In retrospect she believed that everyone has the right to do something, or should be honored to do something, to help someone else survive," Moreno said.
Four months since the surgery, Moreno is back to his normal self.
“I’m feeling fantastic, he said. “I weighed 133. Today I weigh 160.”
Doria said Moreno’s remarkable journey to his second chance at life was only made possible through generosity, karma, and good luck.
“He's been blessed with a new life to continue his journey with his family that have given him nothing but love and support,” she said.