Indiana Mom Gives Kidney to 8-Year-Old Girl She Met at Vacation Bible School

Kari Woods says God told her to give the child her kidney.

At vacation Bible school, everyone was praying for 8-year-old Abby Steinard, who endured more than nine hours of dialysis every day and badly needed a new kidney.

Kari Woods, a mother of five, added her voice to the chorus and she says she heard a voice back.

"I kept hearing God tell me, 'Give her your kidney,''' the Indiana woman told "I said 'OK, all right.''' She decided to keep praying and reflect on it. 

Then she learned Abby had a rare blood type, O negative, the same as Woods. "Then I knew for sure it was God's voice," she said.

Why give a vital organ to someone you'd just met?

"Well, that's my blood type," Woods said, as if it was the same a giving someone a lift to the store. "And I only need one kidney."

Abby, now 9 and in very good health, said she was excited by the donation news "and a little bit scared." Mostly, she worried that something would go wrong in surgery. 

But she was happy when she thought of all things she would be able to do after the operation. Like run and jump and play outside without getting winded or feeling bone tired.

In December, Abby and Woods arrived at St. Vincent Hospital for the four-hour procedure. When Abby saw Woods in the hall, she threw her arms around the woman and "just about tackled me," Woods said.

The surgery went off without a hitch. Woods had four "little holes on my left side," and a six-to-eight-inch scar that looked like a cesarean section cut.

Abby has a curved scar on her abdomen that measures six inches.

She couldn't really walk after the operation and pretty much "went from the bed to the chair," Woods said. But she had color in her cheeks and within a few days she was roaming the halls.

Woods caught bronchitis after her surgery, and coughing was not a pleasant experience, but both were healed within about six weeks.

More than anything, Abby is glad to be done with dialysis.

"It hurt really bad," she said. "It was getting really annoying."

Woods says she feels great now. "It's definitely a blessing," she said. "It's hard to compare that to giving birth to a child, but it's like that in the sense that you're saving a life."

The mother of four girls and one boy is now expecting her sixth child.