One family’s journey with kidney failure saves four people’s lives

(ABC 6 News) – August Williams was born with kidney dysplasia, a condition in which the kidneys do not develop normally in the womb.

Knowing August would eventually need a kidney transplant, his dad, Don Williams, planned on donating his own kidney to his son when the time came.

Sadly, in March 2019, Don passed away. One week later, doctors told August’s family that his kidneys had progressed to end-stage renal failure.

The next year and a half were extremely difficult for him and his family.

“It sucked,” August explained. “I was on dialysis 24/7.”

In Sept. of 2020, his family needed a plan quickly.

“When the kids’ dad passed away and that was like a part of the whole plan and it was like a huge wrench in the whole plan,” said Lizzy Williams, August’s sister-in-law. “Then my husband wanted to donate but he wasn’t able to and his sister and everyone close were so heartbroken that they couldn’t and I was like why cant I?”

Lizzy says she did not have to think twice about trying to donate her own kidney to help save August’s life.

“Looking at my mother-in-law and being like ‘what if it were my kid,'” Lizzy added.

Unfortunately, she was not a match for August either. Lizzy decided to enter what is known as the paired donor pool through Mayo Clinic.

“That’s where recipients who have a donor who don’t necessarily match them, enter the paired donation pool, and then in essence they trade their donors,” said August’s mom, Annette Goodman.

That Dec. everything changed for their family.

“We got the greatest Christmas gift of all we were notified that august and Lizzy were the final link to a four-way match,” Annette said.

Four donors across the country traded recipients with one another and gave those four people a second chance at life. Lizzy’s kidney flew from Rochester, Minn. to New York. August’s kidney came all the way from North Carolina.

Now 25 years old, August is healthy and happy and going back to what he loves to do.

“It’s been a crazy journey. Something that’s been very unfortunate, the outcome has been wonderful. It’s been great and I wanna make sure that people understand that when they give that gift and donate, it truly is the gift of life,” added Annette.

For more information on how you can become a donor, click here.