Oakdale neighbor donates kidney - KMSP-TV

A neighbor, a donor, a brother: Oakdale man donates kidney

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OAKDALE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Melvin Freeman was a on the verge of kidney failure, but at his neighborhood dinner party in Oakdale, Minn., a friend who lives only two doors down said he'd step in to help.

Heron Avenue is one of those streets where neighbors live and enjoy spending time with one another. For the past six years, some of these neighbors like Chuck Paulson formed a dinner group and became good friends.

Last April, Paulson and his neighbor Melvin Freeman took their neighborly attitude even closer. Freeman needed a kidney transplant and Paulson offered to help.

"I went to my wife first, and said I'm thinking about doing this. What do you think? And her reaction was, if you don't, I will," Paulson said.

The two kidneys in the body help remove waste from the blood and makes urine. Freeman's were barely functioning. The organ procurement and transplantation network shows nearly 100,000 people waiting for a kidney in this country.

After multiple tests and months of waiting for results, doctors finally told Paulson he matched.

On Tuesday, the men went to Hennepin County Medical Center for the transplant surgery -- a success. Doctors released Paulson just a few days later, and he says it was all part of a higher calling.

"I went into it truly believing that God wasn't done with me yet," Paulson said.

On Saturday, doctors finally let Freeman leave the hospital. As the family made their way back onto Heron Avenue and into their driveway, shiny balloons were waiting, courtesy of good neighbors.

"I told him when he was going to give me the kidney, ‘You are now my brother,'" Freeman said.

Paulson was also in Freeman's driveway to greet his as good neighbor, close friend, and now, a brother.

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