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Facebook post leads to life-saving kidney donation for Surprise family

Posted at 11:02 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 01:03:03-05

Two Valley families, forever bonded in body and spirit all thanks to an act of kindness from a stranger.  

Most people use social media to keep up with loved ones, browse the day’s news, or buy and sell random stuff. However, for one woman in Surprise, a Facebook post saved her husband’s life.

With three young kids, life in Daniel Birchfield’s house moves fast.

“Trying to raise these guys and be super dad at the same time, it was kind of difficult,” Birchfield said. “Dialysis completely wipes you out.”

Dialysis three times a week, the last four years. Then high blood pressure and a bout with cancer meant Birchfield needed a kidney transplant.

“On dialysis he was just getting by, trying to survive, barely surviving,” said Birchfield’s wife, April Burleson.

So, Burleson posted in a community Facebook group looking for babysitters, explaining the couple’s situation. What they got instead was a donor.

“I was just like, ‘yeah, I’ll do it, message me,’” said Ellie Dussault, who just happened to live less than two miles away and was already interested in becoming a living donor.

Burleson jumped at the chance but Birchfield took a little more convincing.

“In the beginning, I had my doubts,” he said.

Now, one week after the transplant, both parties are recovering well.

“A little sore still,” Dussault said, “but I do feel like I've done something important.”

“It’s the biggest gift anyone has ever given me, is to get him back,” Burleson said.

The gift of a new and healthy life and a chance for new memories made with new family.

“For them to really know who I am is going to be a big life-changing thing,” Birchfield said.

“She’ll always be a part of our family now,” Burleson said. “I mean, she's a part of him!”

The family does have a GoFundMe page to help with medical and recovery costs. Click here for more information.