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#AKidneyForJoey undergoes successful surgery

Posted: 5:44 PM, Apr 21, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-22 04:57:44Z
#AKidneyForJoey undergoes successful surgery
#AKidneyForJoey undergoes successful surgery
Mike Miller has a bit of a history of giving his mom a scare. Like when he called her to tell her he enlisted into the Air Force. Or when he called her to say he was going to become a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter.
 
Last month, he did it again. He said he was going to donate a kidney. To a complete stranger.
 
"You make the right decisions, you make good choices," said Kelley Abear to her son. "So lets just pray about it. Please just pray about it for one night," Abear remembers saying.
 
 
"Every mom has a realistic idea of who their kid is," says Abear. "They know their strengths, weaknesses, what they can and can't do. So when he said he was going to do it, I knew that was possible for Mike."
 
Joe Richman was born with Alport Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that caused hearing loss and forced the 22-year-old onto daily dialysis because his kidneys could no longer sustain life.
 
The pre-med/biology major at USF is studying to become a surgeon, so he can spend his life helping others live.
 
But first, he needed surgery of his own.
 
His mom started a social media campaign called #AKidneyForJoey in a desperate search for help.
 
Miller saw the campaign online.
 
A month later, the two sit in a Tampa General Hospital recovery room, each with a scar, and a new future.
 
Miller gave up his MMA career to donate his kidney, and will be out of work from his day job for weeks as he recovers.
 
Richman now has a future at all, which is no small miracle.
 
His new kidney started working immediately. He'll take medication likely for the rest of his life, but can expect to live a long time.
 
"Mike made that possible." 
 
"Joey is the first male with Alport's in five generations to live through this," says Dana Richman, Joey's mom, to ABC Action News the day after the surgery. "So yeah this was huge. A few minutes later it just hit me. Joey is going to live. He is absolutely going to live. And I was just hysterical. I'm not going to bury my baby," said Dana Richman.
 
Both families are raising money.
 
Money donated to Joey's GoFundMe page will go towards the family's living expenses and Joey's medical expenses.
 
Money donated to Mike Miller's GoFundMe page will go towards his lost income since he will be out of work for many weeks.
 
If you're interested in learning more about how to save a life and donate a kidney, click HERE .