Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Gives Kidney to Firefighter Who Responded When Daughter Was Having Seizure


When someone reaches out in kindness, we are compelled to do everything we can to thank them. However, the opportunity to return the favor doesn’t often appear as providentially as it did for two strangers in Minnesota.

Volunteer firefighter Bill Cox was the first responder on the scene when Becca Bundy called for help in 2016. Her 1-year-old daughter was suffering from a seizure.

Thanks to his actions and quick thinking, the little girl pulled through.

“I got there and helped settle people down until an ambulance could get there and take care of her,” Cox told CNN.

The compassion Cox demonstrated while helping her daughter touched Bundy.

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“He seemed to care, it wasn’t just another call,” Bundy told KARE.

Bundy never thought she’d have the chance to return the favor. However, when she attended a benefit at a bar two years later, she was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Cox was tending the bar in a bright green shirt that called for help. “My name is Bill,” the shirt read. “I’m in end stage kidney failure and in need of a kidney. Type B and Type O.”

Immediately, Bundy knew that she had been called to that event for a reason.

“I couldn’t get it out of my head. I just said, ‘I’m the one and I know it,'” Bundy said.

Cox had been searching for a match since 2017. He was born with only one kidney, and it was failing. Although he had been wearing the shirt to work for months, he had yet to find someone able to donate.

As it turned out, testing proved that Bundy was his perfect match. She didn’t think twice about saving the life of the man who had come to her daughter’s aid.

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When Bundy called Cox to deliver the wonderful news, they were both overwhelmed with emotion.

“I can remember us both crying — tears of joy of course — and Bill thanking me,” Bundy told CNN.

In February of 2019, Bundy and Cox underwent surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. The kidney transplant was successful: Cox is no longer suffering from dialysis and has been able to begin enjoying retirement and continuing to volunteer as a first responder.

The procedure brought Bundy’s and Cox’s families closer together in more ways than one. Cox and his wife, Terry, regularly attend softball games that Bundy coaches. Bundy’s children have become the grandchildren the Cox couple never had.

“We continue to speak on a regular basis and do our best to get together as often as we can,” Bundy said.

Cox also used his passion for woodcarving to create a special gift of thanks for his new friend. He crafted her a wooden angel statue, taking care to paint it her favorite shade of blue.

“She’s my angel. She saved my life and I thought that would be an appropriate little gift for them,” Cox said.

It seems that nothing could possibly sever a bond between these two loving and generous hearts.

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Noel Marquis is a journalist and animal-lover hailing from the Midwest. After an internship with Disney following her college graduation, she pursued a career writing content that makes readers smile. Coffee, books and superhero movies are some of her favorite things.