A Twiggs County man received a surprise that could one day help save his life. Tom Brown, a Tarversville business owner, had both of his kidneys fail two years ago..He requires dialysis 9 hours a day until he gets an organ donation.
If you live in Jeffersonville, there's a good chance you know Tom Brown from his business, Brown's Wrecker Service.
The business opened in the 1970s and has been thriving ever since.
But Brown's kidneys just didn't have the same staying power. Two years ago, they began to fail.
"I was working fine, doing everything by myself, and everything was going great, then, 'Bam!', it hit me, and my world, life turned upside down," he said.
Brown is one of an estimated 120,000 people in the U.S. waiting for an organ.
That's enough to fill the Georgia Dome nearly two times.
"I almost died three times within two years," he said.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 18 people die every day waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of organs.
"It hurts. I'm not able to take baths. I'm not able to go swimming. I'm not able to work," he said.
And that hurt Brown, who is a single father, financially, so Twiggs County's Sheriff's Department, along with Laurens and the Georgia State Patrol decided to help out the man who's always given them a lift by raising money to Life Flight Brown anywhere with no charge to him.
"Because these folks have always, always donated to us. Anytime we need a wrecker, they've always been on the spot," she said.
And though Brown's grateful for what could one day save money and his life, he knows not everyone is as lucky.
"Don't give up. I have seen people literally, through my eyes, just give up, and I've thought about giving up, but the way my family, God and the community's supported me, I'm not going to let them down. I'm a fighter and I'm going to make it," he said.
The money was raised by law enforcement and It only cost them $200, but Brown wouldn't have been eligible without their help. Privately, it could have cost him much more.
The Evac Life Flight service is good for three years.The company can fly Brown anywhere in the state.