On June 28, Tami Lloyd received a call from Vanderbilt Hospital and found out her son, Cooper Moore, was getting a kidney. The call came just two days before his 18th birthday. According to a previous Accent article, Moore had been looking for a kidney donor since his junior year at Collegedale Academy. He went on dialysis shortly before finding a donor match.
“Back when we started the process of looking, we just didn’t know how long it was going to take to find a donor,” said Lloyd. “His kidney function ended up getting bad enough that he had to start dialysis in June because we just didn’t know at that point.”
Response from the community over Moore’s search resulted in many donor kits being sent to Vanderbilt, said Lloyd; however, none of the kits produced a match for Moore’s kidney. Lloyd said eventually Vanderbilt told them to stop sending in kits, as they had too many to process. She added that one of Moore’s doctors commented, “Whatever you’re doing to get a kidney — it’s working.”
Moore said his donor, Megan Mabry, was scrolling through Facebook and noticed a post about his search. She felt impelled to donate her kidney to Moore, whom she had never met. Mabry, 38, is married to Josh Mabry and has four children, according to Lloyd.
“She said, ‘I want to be able to help somebody. And if God wants it to be, it’ll be,’” Lloyd said while recalling what Mabry said her reasoning was.
Moore underwent surgery on July 14, according to Lloyd. Mabry was able to leave 24 hours after donating her kidney, she said, but the surgery was more complicated for Moore.
“The surgery was on a Thursday, and Cooper moved to the regular floor after 24 hours in the ICU,” said Lloyd. “For Cooper, it’s a more serious incision and recovery.”
Moore experienced a blood clot two days after the initial operation and was taken back to surgery, she explained. She said the blood clot was pressing on a vessel that was going to the new kidney, making the second surgery urgent. Lloyd said Moore anticipated going home in four days. But, after having two major surgeries in the span of four days, he was in the hospital for about a week.
Moore and Mabry were able to meet two weeks ago at church after Moore was fully recovered and cleared to be around crowds. The two exchanged plush kidneys they received at the hospital.
“She is very shy and introverted — her own words. Cooper is also shy and introverted. So, they matched pretty well on their kidneys,” Lloyd said jokingly.
In correspondence with the Accent, Mabry confirmed that she was the donor and said she did not mind the newspaper publishing her photo. However, she did not want to be interviewed for the story due to her desire to stay out of the spotlight.
After Moore returned home, his friends, with the help of Lloyd, surprised him by painting his car, which is a Collegedale Academy senior tradition, according to Moore.
He and his mother plan to keep in touch with Mabry, who, according to Lloyd, treats her donation as if it were no big deal. Lloyd went on to express her gratitude for everyone who helped, either through spreading the word, donating kits or praying.
“My biggest takeaway is seeing the kindness of somebody or selflessness of them to just be willing to give part of themselves to someone else,” said Moore. “And just seeing all the support from everyone.”