From warm greetings to wide smiles, UPS drivers often go beyond pickup and delivery. Few are as remarkable as this Oklahoma driver.
When UPS driver Jason Henley arrived for his daily delivery to The UPS Store® location on his route in Oklahoma City one morning, it seemed to be business as usual. But once inside the store, he encountered a somber situation.
"Jason asked me, 'What do we need to do to get you a kidney?' I couldn't believe what he was offering." – Greg Hall, kidney recipient.
Greg Hall, a part-time store employee and college student, was describing to his colleagues a strange cramping in his legs and fatigue.
Although Henley didn't know Hall well, he couldn't help but take notice. "Jason overheard me talking to the other employees about my doctor's appointments, and he asked, 'What's going on?'" Hall says.
After a round of doctor visits and exams, Hall received some bad news: His medical problems were serious. His kidneys were failing. He faced a future of eight to 10 hours of dialysis every night. Hearing the dire situation, Henley felt compelled to make a difference and offered to give Hall the kidney he so badly needed.
"Jason asked me, 'What do we need to do to get you a kidney?'" Hall says. "I couldn't believe what he was offering. I actually blew him off the first three times he asked."
Finally, Hall agreed to Henley's request and gave him the phone number for a transplant clinic.
Deciding to make a difference
Although Henley knew he was making the right decision, it wasn't an easy pill to swallow.
"That [donation] form sat on my desk at home for over a month because I was scared to fill it out," he says. "I knew that if I filled it out, it would just be a matter of time." Henley ultimately completed the form and turned it in.
"This good deed wasn't without risk to his family," says Cindy Simpson, manager of The UPS Store at Quail Springs Marketplace in Oklahoma City. "Deep down, he felt that it was something he had to do."
Henley's wife and two sons, ages 10 and 15, supported his decision. "My boys were all for it – they had no reservations. My wife trusted me. She said if this was what I wanted to do, she was OK with it," he says.
As the men got to know each other better, they discovered they shared the same birthday – Aug. 3. The pair celebrated by sharing a kidney-shaped cake together with their families.
An emotional triumph
On Sept. 21, 2015, Henley and Hall both underwent kidney transplant surgery. Both operations went smoothly.
"The next day I was up and walking and went to Jason's room. It was very emotional. Everybody was crying and excited and happy," Hall says.
Hall, with his new kidney, is thriving.
"I feel awesome, and I have a lot more energy," he says. Hall finished school in August, and is starting a new job as a certified occupational therapist assistant.
"Everything started falling into place. I've gone from dialysis to having this awesome life because of Jason. There are no words that can show how happy I am," he says.
Henley is also healing well and on schedule to return to work in mid-January. "If I could give another kidney and live through it I'd do it again. Knowing how blessed Greg and I have been makes it well worth it. I'd do it in a heartbeat if I could," he says.