A woman who only had a few years to live has met her "perfect" kidney donor by chance at the beach, thanks to her pet dog.
In a report by BBC News, 44-year-old Lucy Humphrey's kidneys failed as a result of her illness called lupus. Humphrey had been suffering from lupus—a disease that causes inflammation to many body systems, such as your joints, skin, kidneys, brain, heart and lungs—for more than a decade and a half.
Despite receiving dialysis treatment, her doctors told her that she only has about five years to live. The only thing that could save her is a kidney transplant.
In a seemingly miraculous chain of events, she had found her perfect match when she and her husband went to a beach in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan along with their two Dobermans named Jake and Indie.
Humphrey recounted that day when they parked their campervan overlooking the beach and prepared for a barbecue, their dog Indie was continuously bothering another beachgoer named Katie James.
"Indie kept going over to this woman about 100 yards away. She kept going back and forward to her and we kept calling her back, because obviously a big Doberman can be a little bit intimidating," Humphrey said.
Eventually, she and her husband decided to go to James to apologize before inviting her over to their barbecue. The two learned of each other's conditions when James offered Humphrey some drinks and her husband explained that she couldn't drink because of her dialysis for a kidney transplant.
"Oh I've just gone on the kidney donation register!" James revealed, sharing that she is willing to give her organ to "anyone who wants it."
After contacting a donor coordinator the next day, Humphrey found that James was a "perfect match" for her.
"A surgeon told us it's a one in 22 million chance to find the perfect match, and that's what I needed as I've got Lupus. The transplant took a little while, as COVID was going on at the time, so it kept being postponed," Humphrey said.
After the successful surgery on October 2022, James highlighted her elation in her unexpected meeting with Humphrey.
"I feel really lucky that I got to know Humphrey, I know that its worked and I know that she's out there living her life. To me, there's been no negative to it whatsoever," she said.
She added, "I feel really proud of myself, I get embarrassed sometimes though as every time I'm out with my nan she will tell a stranger 'oh my granddaughter donated a kidney.'"
Humphrey looked back at their chance encounter and expressed her appreciation to her furbaby Indie for "sussing" James out and "choosing" her.
"I really needed this transplant, I'd been on the waiting list for several years. It's completely changed my life already," she said.
Her husband meanwhile encouraged others to never give up hope, underscoring, "We want to show that there is always hope for people. Never give in, because you never know, we weren't even going to go to the beach that day. There's a lot of good people out there."