Co-worker gives the gift of a lifetime

Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013 --- 5:38 p.m.

It's a gift that will last a lifetime, a selfless donation made to a co-worker. The gift is giving one Madison man a big reason to be thankful this holiday season.

This time last year Terry Webb found out his kidneys were failing, he and his doctors started the process to get on the donor list. A wait that could take 8 or 9 years. During that time, he started searching for a family member who might be able to help him out sooner.

"Judging by what everyone says to me now, I was pretty bad." Starting dialysis, Terry says he wasn't himself. "Progressively the disease got worse."

Things started looking bad when family member after family member came back with a negative match.

"There's only one that came back as a potential match and it was far from ideal."
As provost at Madison College, Terry struggled both at home and at work.

"Well we could all tell that Terry was not doing as well as he could be," says his co-worker, Keith Cornille.

So a few offices away Keith Cornille decided to step up.

"There's a whole other side to this, what happened if I didn't do something? What happened if I knew I was a match and could have helped someone and didn't."

Be it an act of fate, a miracle or just sheer dumb luck, he was a match.

"This was a really exceptional match. The likelihood of that happening when you're sitting next to someone working with them everyday is something more stunning than anything else."

The surgery was in June, and it went off without a hitch. Terry says he was lucky enough that his body didn't reject the kidney at first, a common occurrence.

"I actually went to visit Keith in the hospital room that's across the hall from me because it's hard to believe that it made such a big difference."

Counting his blessings everyday that he can return to life as normal.

"I can do things that I couldn't do before, unfortunately that includes household chores, raking, stuff like that."

"If I didn't give him my kidney I was afraid he was going to ask me to come over and do all of his chores and I didn't want any part in that I have my own leaves to rake!"

Keith says all kidding aside, it's an amazing feeling to give someone his life back.

"To consider a donation of life to really think about what the impact of that donation could be on someone."

Opening Terry's eyes to the generosity of his co-worker, and the inspiring gift he'll cherish forever.

"To be part of this entirely selfless act that really makes you look at doing the same sorts of things yourself more often."


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