GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In 2004, Jeff Granger received the pancreas and kidney of Bryan Herrington who died at the age of 35.
Granger was forever grateful for the life-saving combined transplant and eventually built a relationship with Herrington’s widow, Terri Herrington.
UF Health shared the touching story about how the families kept in touch for 15 years, alternating between phone calls, visits and social media. If Terri and her boys were going to Orlando, she’d make sure to go through Wacissa and stay for lunch, or the night to visit Granger.
One afternoon, Jeff was sitting in the house when Terri and Bryan’s youngest son, Payton, came up and put his hand on Granger’s stomach.
“My dad’s in there,” he said.
“Sure is,” Grainger said. “And I’ll try to keep him alive as long as I can.”
January 2019, the donated kidney from Bryan began failing. Grainger did the first thing he could think of: He called Terri.
“I’m losing Bryan’s kidney,” he told her. “I’m so sorry.”
“Well, I’ve got one,” Terri said.
Jeff shrugged it off, assuming she was joking. They didn’t address the subject again, until Jeff took to social media in search of a kidney donor. The post did well. Many people shared it and left comments — including Terri.
“I’ll email you a packet if you’re really interested,” Jeff commented.
“I’m not ‘really interested,’ ‘' Terri told him. “You’re getting mine.”
One phone call and a couple of UF Health Shands brochures later, Jeff knew she was serious. And, more importantly, she was a match.