KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. - “Daddy, you thought you were saving my life pulling me from foster care but in actuality, you were saving my life so I could save yours later.”
Those were the words Billy Houze, of Kings Mountain, said his daughter DeLauren McKnight told him after she found out she was a kidney match for him, “Good Morning America” reported.
Houze, who is a pastor, and his wife, Karen, adopted McKnight 27 years ago when she was just a baby.
The father of five’s kidneys started shutting down after gallbladder surgery in 2016. Doctors had a grim outlook for the pastor. Houze wouldn’t live past five years without a transplant, but the list for organ donation was about seven years, according to “Good Morning America.”
"My whole world caved in,” Houze told Channel 9’s Ken Lemon.
His sons were all tested, but none matched.
Then, on Feb. 1, his adopted daughter, McKnight, was tested and they were a match.
"I would do anything for my dad," McKnight said.
“I never thought I would be a match because I was adopted,” McKnight told “Good Morning America.” “I got the call at work and I wanted him to be the first person that knew. I called and I said, ‘Daddy, I have to tell you something. I’m a match.’”
McKnight knows about beating the odds, she told Channel 9.
She and her mother had conflicting blood types. While pregnant, her mother's body rejected her repeatedly. Her biological mother attempted suicide twice.
The father and daughter are waiting on the final call from doctors to trigger the transplant and hope to undergo surgery shortly.
"He has given me life," McKnight said. "Now, I'm about to give it back to him."
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