Panama City man receives new kidney after surgery is delayed by Hurricane Michael

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(WMBB) — Thanks to a generous sacrifice, a Bay County man is now home safe and sound with a new kidney.

Anthony Pilot is a math instructor and academic coordinator at Gulf Coast State College which is where he met Jessica Meyer, who is an educational resource advisor in the same department.

Jessica Meyer and Anthony Pilot (Courtesy: Jessica Meyer)

Meyer learned that Pilot was very ill after struggling with diabetes for over 20 years and had been diagnosed with kidney failure five years prior. That’s when she decided to do something about it.

He was already on the donor list at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and after testing, learned she was a perfect match for Pilot.

The surgery was scheduled for June 18, 2018, but Pilot became too ill to complete the procedure. The surgery was moved to the fall of 2018, but not before Hurricane Michael could hit on October 10th, causing it to be postponed once again.

Meyer at UAB (Courtesy: Jessica Meyer)

Finally, on June 6, 2019 the procedure was able to be completed by Comprehensive Transplant Institute Director Jayme Locke, M.D.

Pilot has recently returned home to Panama City and is doing well.

“I had no idea how bad I felt all those years until now,” he said. “I feel like I’m 25 years old. I’ve gained 10 pounds and have so much more energy.” 

When talking about Meyer he said, “She’s a friend of mine. I look at her like a real sister. I am so blessed and honored to know her.”

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