PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) -- A retired Kentucky high school teacher and his nephew received surgery for new kidneys Thursday after they were both diagnosed with a hereditary kidney disease.
Tommy Thompson has been living with a disease known as polycystic kidneys for 25 years. His nephew, Jody Thompson, found out he also had the disease about one year ago.
Both men underwent surgery Thursday morning to have one kidney replaced.
To help him with the process, Jody reached out to his co-all star athlete and longtime friend, Kelly Wells, who went through three kidney transplants since he was 30.
"The connection of having kidney disease is greater than you would think,” Wells began. “[We] talked about specifics from the surgery. From what it looks like, what's recovery time, when do you come back to work, do you have to wear a mask all the time when out in public -- just little different things that you probably don't even think about until you've been through those kind of things.”
Many in the Pikeville, Kentucky community said something like this could not have happened to better people. Inspiring many across Pike County to step up to help.
“That shows what the community thinks about these two men. How much they genuinely care about them. They care for them like what we here at Pike Central feel, Eastern Kentucky is like being in a family,” said Pike Central Principal Steven Taylor.
Jody reportedly received a transplant from one of his old friends who played basketball at a rival school. It's unknown who donated to Tommy at this time.