A special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been given a second chance at life thanks to the help of a fellow agent.
Doug Kunze suffers from chronic kidney disease and was told in June 2016 that he would either need to get a kidney transplant or go on dialysis. Having watched his own father go through the process some 40 years ago, Kunze decided dialysis wasn’t an option.
“It’s a very rough process,” Kunze said.
But with no donor in sight, a new kidney didn’t seem like a viable option either. Still, Kunze refused to give up.
Then one day, Kunze received a call from fellow agent Jeff Brown who said he was going to give him a kidney.
“He called me up and wanted the number for the transplant center and I asked him what for and he said, ‘because I’m going to donate,’” Kunze said. “It was huge. I mean, I had a good cry over it.”
Sure enough, Brown was a match and after a 10-hour surgery in March, the transplant was completed.
“I woke up realizing I got a new life,” Kunze said.
Brown said he doesn’t want anyone to feel indebted to him but rather he simply did what he felt was right.
“I know people give me thanks and everything, but my wife and I think we both got more out of it than we gave,” Brown said.
Still, Kunze said he will do anything for Brown and his family for the rest of his days on Earth.
Kunze said he’s feeling good, almost back to 100 percent and even walking two miles a day.
Other agents from the Houston field office set up a Go Fund Me account to help Kunze pay for the medical expenses that weren’t covered by insurance. So far, more than $18,000 in donations have been collected.
[ Click 2 Houston ]