GA Hooters waitress donates kidney to longtime customer - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GA Hooters waitress donates kidney to longtime customer

Posted: Updated:
Mariana Villarreal will donate one of her kidneys to longtime customer, Don Thomas. WXIA photos Mariana Villarreal will donate one of her kidneys to longtime customer, Don Thomas. WXIA photos

ROSWELL, GA (WXIA) - Don Thomas is a longtime regular at the Hooters in Roswell.

But it's not the beer or the chicken wings that bring him back. Instead, it's the generosity of one of the waitresses.

"Mariana had only been here a short time," Thomas said. "I just barely knew her when she made the offer."

MOBILE USERS | Watch here

The offer was the gift of life. Thomas lost both his kidneys.

"I said, 'Well I have two kidneys, do you want one of mine?'" said Mariana Villarreal, a waitress at Hooters.

"My reply was, 'I will accept it,'" Don said.

Mariana doesn't know Don outside of work. But she feels a higher calling.

Her grandmother recently passed away from kidney failure.

"I wasn't able to do anything for my grandma," Mariana said, "If [Don] can live two more years, happy as he's ever been, that's fine with me. That's not up to me. I did my part, now it's God's turn to keep him alive."

Dr. Harrison Pollinger, one of the program directors of the Piedmont Transplant Institute, said both donor and recipient should be able to live healthy lives after the surgery.

"You can live your whole life with one just kidney," Pollinger said, "You only need one kidney for normal kidney function."

Mariana hopes her story will inspire others to donate organs to those in need.

"A lot of people don't realize how easy it is - relatively - to give someone a new life," said Chris Bond with the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

Don will have a new life. Thanks to a special bond born at the unlikeliest of places.

Read more at WXIA's website.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Danica Patrick finds love away from track with Aaron Rodgers

    Danica Patrick finds love away from track with Aaron Rodgers

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 6:55 AM EST2018-01-16 11:55:59 GMT
    Only on AP: Danica Patrick has found love away from the race track.More
    Only on AP: Danica Patrick has found love away from the race track.More
  • Conditions in Hamilton County

    Conditions in Hamilton County

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 6:51 AM EST2018-01-16 11:51:32 GMT
    Channel 3's Michelle Heron reports from Hamilton County on road conditions as crews and citizens prepare for Tuesday's winter weather. More
    Channel 3's Michelle Heron reports from Hamilton County on road conditions as crews and citizens prepare for Tuesday's winter weather. More
  • Afternoon snow showers

    Afternoon snow showers

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 5:56 AM EST2018-01-16 10:56:27 GMT

    Good Tuesday.  We are all under a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY and some of us under a WIND CHILL ADVISORY through the day. It will be cold all day with high temperatures only reaching the upper 20s and low 30s.  These high temps will be reached early on at about noon, and then temps will be dropping through the afternoon as a cold front works through.

    More

    Good Tuesday.  We are all under a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY and some of us under a WIND CHILL ADVISORY through the day. It will be cold all day with high temperatures only reaching the upper 20s and low 30s.  These high temps will be reached early on at about noon, and then temps will be dropping through the afternoon as a cold front works through.

    More
Powered by Frankly