Commercial Inspires Man's Organ Donation to Stranger


Rollie Merriman (right) donated his kidney to Melanie Hall, a total stranger (left).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A woman's life was saved after a public service announcement inspired a man to donate a kidney to a total stranger.
Early in her life, Melanie Hall's body began to fail her, 10TV's Glenn McEntyre reported on Wednesday.

"I had kidney disease most of my life," Hall said. "I lost my first kidney when I was 18. My other one started failing about 10 years ago."
SLIDESHOW: Images From Report
Doctors told her health would continue to deteriorate.
Basic functions became unmanageable and after a while, Hall could no longer care for herself. Doctors told her to prepare for the worst.
"I could feel it -- in my body, in my mind -- I knew that it wasn't going to be very long," Hall said.
The disease and its prognosis was an unbearable prospect for Hall's father, who had already suffered the loss of three of his children, McEntyre reported.
"I kept begging and praying for God to help me," Hall said. "It's hard. It's hard to lose your family."
Hall and her family had no idea that 75 miles away, a stranger would make a decision that would save her life.
Rollie Merriman and his wife were watching television in their Athens home when a public service announcement about the importance of organ donation caught his attention.
Merriman had already signed up to be an organ donor after his death, but that night, he decided not to wait.
"I'm a very blessed person," Hall said. "I'm 54-years-old, I've lived a very healthy life. Well there's somebody out there who isn't. Two people a day out there die from not having an organ donation and I thought, 'Well, one day there's only going to be one. I'm going to help somebody out.'"
Merriman called the Lifeline of Ohio hotline, and soon underwent a series of tests that determined he was a match for Hall.
Doctors at The Ohio State University Medical Center transplanted one of Merriman's kidneys into Hall's body last month.
Just hours after the operation, the two met for the first time, McEntyre reported.
"My first question to him was 'Why?' Because for somebody to give so unselfishly, you just don't see that," Hall said.
Merriman had an answer for her.
"I said 'Mel, you're my new sister,' so she is," Merriman said.
The moment Merriman said he will never forget was his embrace with Hall's father.
"For a father to come up and hug you and say 'You're saving a life,' and the life you're saving is his daughter, and he starts crying, if that doesn't get you, nothing will," he said.
In the U.S., 10 people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant. During the last five years, more than 1,000 Ohioans have died.
Watch 10TV News HD and refresh for additional information.
More Information: