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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - One family's heartbreak became an answered prayer for another five years ago at Jewish Hospital's transplant center.
But on Monday, the man who received a life saving kidney transplant then had an emotional meeting with the family of the person who gave him the gift of life.
"I had been thinking about it for several years" says kidney recipient Andreas Price, "and when the opportunity presented itself, I was quite ready."
Price's donor was 41 year old Tracey Murray, who died of an aneurysm in 2008. Family members say donating her organs was an easy decision. "Tracey was a giving person," Sherrie Williams says. "She really was, she was the one who told us that she wanted to be an organ donor."
Meeting Williams and other members of Tracey's family was a big day for Andreas Price. He felt nervous, but also excited. In fact, he hasn't been this excited and nervous since his life-saving kidney transplant, he says.
"It's the first opportunity that I've had to meet them face to face," Price says, "and [I'm] just really excited to share with them personally and face to face my gratitude for their gift."
After years of waiting, the meeting with the donor family began with formalities and an emotional embrace. But both sides agree it won't be the last.
"We're a family now," Sherrie Williams says, "that's what we told Andreas that we believe we're family."
"I can guarantee that we are connected now," Andreas says, "we've embraced one another and I think that's going to be a relationship that's just going to continue."
Murray was actually registered organ donor and after her death, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates or KODA helped facilitated this emotional meeting.
"It was pretty surreal" Price says, "to meet the family of the person whose gift is continuing to give me life."
Family members on both sides says this emotional connection has motivated them to register to become organ donors themselves.