.- Last Thursday, Patricia Sanchez, a 60-year old mother of four received a new kidney during a successful transplant in Birmingham Alabama. Her 12-year wait finally ended when an unlikely donor came forward--her parish priest.
51-year old Father Ken Ramon Landry had been a close friend of the Sanchez family leading workshops with Patricia and working closely with husband Rafael through the Diocese of Biloxi’s Hispanic ministry.
Last year, Rafael confided to the priest, who is also his pastor at Hattiesburg’s Sacred Heart parish about his wife’s long-time illness and the unlikelihood that the family would be able to find a donor. Almost immediately, Fr. Ramon-Landry offered one of his own kidneys.
Shying from local praise, Father Ramon-Landry told the Hattiesburg American that, "neither of us wants notoriety. Both of us think it is a worthy cause to raise awareness to the fact that within some of our bodies we carry life for others - even us men - by offering a kidney, a lung. Perhaps this is why God gave us two, to see if we would share and take seriously what his Son did for us... 'laying down our lives freely.'"
Expressing her gratitude, Patricia added simply, "This is the gift of life for me."