ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Back in March, Queen City News told you about Nick Deal.
Deal had received a kidney donation from his wife, only to lose it in a car accident on his way home from the hospital. On June 8, he got a third chance at life.
It’s a powerful thing, a story. The chain of events it can spark can be even more powerful.
“I was watching the news one night and I saw where this one guy had an accident coming home from the hospital after having a kidney transplant. And then I heard ‘Nick Deal,’ and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I know him,’” said Lisa Sigmon.
Sigmon is Deal’s former landlord. She brought his story to her Sunday School class, asking them to pray for him. Sheila Johnson was in that class.
“There are so many moving pieces to this, and it was just a miracle from God,” said Johnson.
Sigmon’s prayer request for Deal stuck with Johnson for months… until the unspeakable happened to her friend, Tamara Norman.
Norman’s 31-year-old son Brendan Volz overdosed on May 31. He suffered a major stroke in the hospital that eventually left him brain-dead. Norman immediately knew organ donation was a way she could make light out of her immeasurable darkness.
“When they told me that his heart was very strong – kidney, liver, everything – I knew that’s what he would have wanted,” she said.
The ladies moved back down the chain. Norman asked Johnson to call Sigmon, who then called the Deals. After paperwork, blood tests, and many more phone calls, they quickly learned Volz was Deal’s perfect match.
“To hear the news that he was a match, my son was a match for Nick, all I wanted to do was be by his side. Even though I knew he wasn’t there anymore, that it was just his shell, I wanted to get to him and tell him that he’s saving a life,” said Norman.
Tuesday was the first time Norman got to meet the Deals in person.
“I didn’t know you before this, but I’ve been waiting to give you a big hug,” Deal said to Norman through tears.
Deal is a completely different person from the man we met in March. Back then, he wasn’t just without a kidney, he was without hope.
“I was just ready to die,” he said. “Boom. Out of the blue, I get a kidney. My hero, Brendan.”
With a new lease on life and a new hero to thank, Deal’s surgery gave meaning to Volz’s family: out of death can come life.
“It gives you comfort,” said Norman.