Montgomery woman’s billboards help her find kidney donor

Montgomery woman finds kidney donor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - We first introduced you to Verna Johnson back in May, just one month after she launched her “Verna Needs A Kidney” campaign.

Johnson was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2017 and has been on the kidney transplant waiting list ever since, but to no avail. That’s when Johnson took things into her own hands.

“Billboards, social media, news outlets, Facebook, whatever you can think of to help get the word out, because if you shout it out loud, somebody’s going to hear you," Johnson said.

One of the nine "Verna Needs a Kidney" billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham.
One of the nine "Verna Needs a Kidney" billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham.
One of the nine "Verna Needs a Kidney" billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham.
One of the nine "Verna Needs a Kidney" billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham.

That was the idea, and it worked.

Just last week, Johnson received that long-awaited phone call.

“I literally lost it. I almost passed out. I was so happy," Johnson said.

Shortly after, Johnson, her family, and friends went out to celebrate.

“I was talking and thanking everybody for helping me, participating, and helping this to be possible for me. Through my emotions of talking, Jeff [one of Johnson’s close friends], says, ‘Verna, look up!’ I turn to him and he says, ‘I want you to meet your donor, Jamie,'" Johnson said.

It’s a moment Johnson will never forget: meeting her donor, Jamie Burchfield, for the first time.

Montgomery native, Verna Johnson, put up billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham in search of kidney donor. The billboards worked and Johnson found her perfect match.
Montgomery native, Verna Johnson, put up billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham in search of kidney donor. The billboards worked and Johnson found her perfect match. (Source: Samantha Day.)

Burchfield is a Birmingham native, who, according to Johnson, initially saw the ‘Verna Needs A Kidney’ campaign online.

“She told me that this is something that God led her to do," Johnson said.

Johnson’s kidney transplant is scheduled for the end of October.

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