Conway man donates kidney to friend of 30 years

Each day, an average of 79 people receive organ transplants in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

However, the numbers also reveal 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that can't happen because of the shortage of donated organs.

The need for organ donation hits home for Conway resident Stanley Holland and Virginia native Marvin Wise.

The two friends were co-workers for more than three decades, but this year their friendship became much deeper.

Wise needed a kidney transplant following a history of high blood pressure and diabetes, and it was Holland who stepped up to help.

"He said I'm on the kidney transplant list, and I knew nothing about it so I asked him what does that entail. He said, someone would need to give him a kidney, and I said I would give him a kidney," Holland says, recalling a conversation in March before Wise's transplant.

Without telling Wise, his wife and Holland's got together to figure out what needed to be done for Stanley to get tested.

"I contacted the transplant center and they sent me the blood work. We set it all up and everything matched, and he got my kidney," said Holland.

"He called me about two weeks before it was supposed to take place, and said look I'm going to give you a kidney," added Wise. "I cried like a baby, because I was going through pure hell."

After being on the kidney transplant list for more than three years, Marvin's wait was finally over.

"I can't explain how grateful I was," Wise recounted. "That's a real friend. It's unexplainable when someone does that for you."

Holland advises everyone to get tested to see if they are a match for someone on an organ donation list and said it's not as scary as it seems.

"Everybody kept saying aren't you worried. I've not regretted it. I haven't had any problems," said Holland. "If people are worried about donating a kidney or any organ, there's nothing to it. You're asleep, you wake up, and it's gone. No big deal."

Wise and Holland have traveled to Myrtle Beach for the past several years for the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Golf Tournament.

This is the first time in 14 years Wise has not played, but he says he will be back swinging his clubs at next year's tournament.