Man donates kidney after meeting man at Natchitoches bar

Mark Scotch and Hugh Smith
Mark Scotch and Hugh Smith(KSLA)
Published: May. 21, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) - What started as a conversation at a bar ended up with a man saving another man’s life.

In early 2020, Mark Scotch met Hugh Smith at Cane River Brewing Company in Natchitoches. They sparked up a conversation and then Smith mentioned that he had to leave for medical reasons.

“He said he was on dialysis and in stage five kidney failure,” Scotch said, “I told him ‘I can give you one of my kidneys.’”

Smith was a professional jockey for 17 years and battled with pain. He said he didn’t know that the pain medicine he was taking would lead to kidney failure.

After Scotch volunteered to give his kidney, this moved Smith up on the list. Scotch’s kidney went immediately to the best candidate, but Smith received a kidney within the next few weeks.

For a year, both men went through constant medical appointments to make sure they were okay after their surgeries. Then Scotch decided to show the world that even without a kidney, you can still live a full life.

On April 24th, 2021, Scotch started The Organ Trail bike ride from Madison, WI to Natchitoches, LA. The ride was documented through this website.

Scotch’s wife trailed him in their car and they both stayed with a family who owned a Winnebago.

The ride ended Friday, at the same bar both men met in 2020.

“This is absolutely amazing what he did, and he saved my life,” Smith says.

If you would like to learn more about organ donation please click, here.

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