HICKORY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Today, Trae Putnam has a new lease on life. The three-year battle to find a kidney is finally over.
“I feel like a new man, really,” he told FOX 46.
This story started when FOX 46 featured Trae’s son, Fore. Without his dad’s knowledge, the then eight year old sent a letter to President Trump asking for his help getting Trae a kidney.
To his surprise, Trump wrote back saying he’d do what he could to help. It could have been just words, but it wasn’t.
“The doctor in New York, Doctor Montgomery, had got a call from President Trump or the White House telling him about what was going on,” Trae Putnam told FOX 46.
In the meantime, over 1,000 people nationwide reached out, offering the family support. An additional 600-700 wanted to donate their kidney. As fate would have it, though, a family friend who lived just miles down the road was the perfect match.
“I know a lot of good stuff had happened since the letter,” Putnam said, “but I just didn't want to get excited because I'd still been let down so many times.”
Donnie Saine had the same blood type as Putnam, and something told him everything else would be a match too.
“Well, when you see somebody in need, you try to help,” Saine said. “When the Lord tells you to do it, you do it.”
Saine followed through, and today Putnam has more energy than ever. Fore knows God did the heavy lifting, but still had a message for Trump.
“I'd say thanks,” he said. “because there's a lot more people who need a kidney than just my dad.”
Fore says he can’t wait to play football with his dad; the only questions is who will Trae now root for?
“I just don't want to have to start rooting for the Redskins,” he said patting his new kidney, “now that I'm part Saine.”
Trae still has to take over 50 pills a day. One of his treatments costs a million dollars a year. He says he’s currently in talks with Congressman Mark Meadows to try to provide financial assistance to the donors who oftentimes have to take off work to donate their organs.
Although Trae has his kidney, the family is still accepting donations on their GoFundMe page to help with the growing medical expenses.