EL PASO, Texas -- Jaimie Walker has always been a giver. Her husband Isaiah says she's always been that way, volunteering at any and every opportunity. So it was no surprise when Jamie, a former soldier, told him she wanted to donate a portion of her liver to a complete stranger. He knew she'd done her research on the subject, and he was immediately on board.
"I met a woman whose husband needed a kidney," Jaimie says. "I learned on Facebook you could donate a liver and it regenerates. So immediately I did research for a few days, talked to my husband about it, talked in these groups and told people, 'I have a b positive liver' who wants it?"
Jaimie was directed to a hospital in San Antonio, and soon found a recipient that matched. Telling friends and family about sacrifice for a complete stranger was met with many questions.
"A few people are like, "What if your kids need it? Well, no one in my family ever did and I don't forsee that. Once I explain that their attitudes completely change they say "that's so cool! I didn't know that! I had negative reaction from people because the education wasn't there."
Now, Jamie is educating others about her experience, which she calls "easy." Her 19-year old son Adrian made the trip to San Antonio to help her with her recovery, while her 6-year old, Koa, stayed home with dad. Adrian says he was inspired while helping his mom through the process, and plans to follow in her footsteps and donate his own liver one day.
Jaimie wants others to know that there is a real need for liver donors, and that cost shouldn't be a deterrent. She says the recipient's insurance covers the medical bills, and her hotel was paid for by family and friends.
"It can save a life," Jaimie says. "Most people die in a way they can't donate in death. It's medical waste. SO why not donate now while you can make a difference?" she adds.
She practices what she preaches, and plans to donate a kidney at her one-year mark in October.
"My wife, she has a big heart, and she saved somebody's life," says Isaiah. "I think that's pretty cool."