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Adopted Daughter's Sacrifice Moves Dad to Tears

Billy Houze's kidneys didn't work and the wait list was too long
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2019 2:00 PM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2019 4:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A North Carolina woman is on the verge of saving her adoptive father's life—something she believes she was destined to do, ABC News reports. "She told me, 'Daddy, you thought you were saving my life pulling me from foster care but in actuality, you were saving my life so I could save yours later,'" Billy Houze, 64, tells Good Morning America. "I am extremely proud of her." And no doubt relieved, after doctors told him in 2016 he wouldn't live beyond 2021 with two spent kidneys. But his sons were not transplant matches, and the wait list was seven years. That left his adopted daughter, DeLauren McKnight: "DeLauren said, 'Daddy, I have your kidney, and I'm going to be tested,'" he tells the Shelby Star. "She believed divinely she was going to be a match."

A longtime Baptist pastor who traveled as a musician and evangelist, Houze was ready for good news—divinely inspired or otherwise. A simple 2016 gall bladder surgery had caused his hemoglobin to fall so precipitously that he collapsed before leaving the hospital. He woke up in ICU on dialysis that would tire and tax his body to this day. But he had a hidden angel in McKnight, who was born in 1992 to a drug-abusing relative but miraculously tested negative for drugs. The Houzes adopted the girl, who learned Feb. 1 she was a "perfect" kidney match for her adoptive dad, she tells WBTV. She remembers calling to tell him: "He stopped talking and he was crying," McKnight says. "I was shaking. It was overwhelming." Houze expects to have surgery within a few weeks. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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