ROWAN COUNTY (WJZY) – Nick Deal says he was “Mr. Tough Guy,” but within seconds his whole life changed forever.
Deal was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. After years of surgery and tests, he discovered that his wife, Donna Deal, was the perfect candidate for kidney donation.
On February 9, Donna donated her kidney in a successful operation that gave Nick a second chance at life. But that kidney never came home.
On his way home from the hospital on Valentine’s Day, five days after receiving his new breath, Deal was involved in a tragic car accident. He was eventually airlifted to hospital with internal bleeding and irreversible damage to his new kidney. He was removed before the bandages from his donation operation even came off.
“You finally think you’re taking a break from life, to get your life back together with kidney disease and everything, but it’s been taken away from you again,” he said.
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Deal is a Navy veteran, worked as a NASCAR pit crew member, and owned his own auto repair shop. Now he says he needs everything he has to get out of bed in the morning.
“It broke my heart. It was just devastating, and I was so scared when he woke up because I knew that would be me telling him,” Donna said.
Now the deals are back to square one. They are looking for a new donor in a race against time.
“I am only 62 years old. I’m too young to die from it,” Deal said through tears. “I hate to think of it that way, but my time is short. One foot is in the grave and the other is about to enter it.
Deal’s blood type is A-, meaning he can receive a donation from anyone with type A or O blood. Donations cost the donor nothing. Donors must have normal kidney function and no history of cancer.
If you think you’re ready to help, call Donna Deal at (704) 642-6582.