Man Who Married His Kidney Donor Needs Another Transplant as His Wife's Donated Organ Is Failing

An Indiana man is in a race against time as he searches for another person to donate their kidney and save his life.

In 2010, Kyle Froelich desperately needed a kidney donor after he was diagnosed with a condition at age 12 that leads to kidney inflammation and makes it difficult for his organs to filter waste products from his blood, Time reports.

After meeting Chelsea Clair at a car show, Kyle’s long search for a new kidney was over after the then-stranger offered him hers.

But, it turns out she was more than just a perfect match medically, as the duo formed an inseparable bond and eventually started dating after the transplant was completed. In 2013, after Kyle’s health improved, they got married.

But things took a turn for the worst recently when Kyle came down with an illness causing his kidney that was donated by his wife to fail. Now, he’s on the hunt again for another person willing to donate their kidney.

It’s a time crunch for him too — if Kyle does not find a match within the next year, he’ll be forced to undergo kidney dialysis and could eventually die, Time reports.

While the grim news would likely seem troubling or stressful for many, Kyle, now 28, is remaining calm and collected having previously gone through this experience.

“We’ve done it before. You have to stay optimistic,” he told Time. “I don’t ever worry about it. I just have faith that it’s going to happen. When it happens, it happens.”

During Kyle’s last search, he discovered that none of his family and friends could be matches because he had a rare Type O blood, he explained during a recent appearance on Today.

Type O is typically hard to come across, in part because only 7% of the population is Type O negative — the universal donor, according to the American Red Cross.

“[O blood types] can give to anyone, but can only receive from O,” Kyle, who is O positive, said on Today. “So I can only receive an O kidney, which is a fairly rare blood type.”

“I’d had so many people tell me that they wanted to do it,” Kyle told Time. “And it was  — for a long time — a letdown because nobody was ever a match.”

Though Chelsea luckily came in at the right time and was a perfect kidney match for Kyle, the couple — who share a six-year-old son, in addition to Chelsea’s 12-year-old daughter from a previous relationship — is now right back where they started nearly 10 years ago.

This time around, however, it’s even harder, Chelsea, 31, told the outlet. “It’s definitely different than the first time, when he was younger and didn’t have any children or responsibilities like that. It’s scary,” she said. “But I’m hopeful.”

According to Dr. Tim Taber, Kyle’s nephrologist at Indiana University Health, multiple transplants are common for kidney recipients. Still, Dr. Taber told Time that Kyle’s kidney failure came “a little sooner than we expected for him.”

As the Froelichs work to find a new match, Kyle is hoping flyers, word-of-mouth, and being on the national organ waiting list will lead him to the person who will save his life.

There aren’t any guarantees with the list, however, as Dr. Taber told Time that the wait list for a kidney, which currently holds more than 100,000 Americans, is between three to six years in Indiana.

“You’re never done looking until you’re on the table for surgery,” Kyle told the outlet. “There are so many things that can go wrong and change. That’s why it was such a big deal when Chelsea was a match the first time.”

“I don’t have another one to give him, so I hope somebody will step forward like I did and help us,” Chelsea added to Today.

Those who are interested in donating a kidney to Kyle can find more information here.

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