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Bowling Green photographer donates kidney to stranger

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 8:00 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Last year, as the world was beginning to adapt to the new reality COVID-19 brought on, one photographer was inspired to do more, especially after getting laid off, and watching the Black Lives Matter protests nationwide.

“It’s going well, I’m up and moving,” that’s how Austin Anthony describes his recovery in Nashville.

Anthony is a freelance photographer in Bowling Green, “pretty much the only thing I can’t do right now is lift objects heavier than five pounds. But, you know, I’m walking around and otherwise living pretty normally and had the surgery less than a week ago.”

Anthony says donating a kidney had been something he had been considering for a while.

“It’s called a non-directed donation or an altruistic donation. I got laid off a year ago, and just kind of had this time on my hands, and then, you know, there were the Black Lives Matter protests and COVID, and I just was thinking, like, I would really like to help out just in some way. I just contacted Vanderbilt and told them that I was interested,” says Anthony.

“But I don’t know who is getting the kidney. I hope to find out, but all I know is that it was flown to Minnesota, like right after my surgery, and was put in a person the same day,” added Anthony.

He also spoke on some of the requirements he had to fulfill during the process, “the big thing is, I could not be diabetic, and I couldn’t have a family history of kidney disease or renal failure. I had a bunch of testing to do, I had to get blood work done several times.”

“My only hesitation was that I was hoping to get it done in the winter, and then it kind of kept getting moved back a little bit,” said Anthony.

He said after his recovery he hopes to continue freelancing as a photographer in Bowling Green.

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