GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Brenda Barr suffers from a genetic kidney disease and was in need of kidney transplant.
On Jan. 27, 2016, Barr was one of five patients to help set a record at Mercy Health Saint Mary's for kidney transplants. She and the five other kidney recipients got transplants in the span of 20 hours.
On Saturday, Feb. 10, Barr and her husband, daughters and grandchildren went to Lacks Cancer Center on the Mercy Health campus to meet the family of the deceased kidney donor.
Barr received her kidney from Michael Musselman whose surviving wife, three children and parents went to the reveal.
When Michelle Musselman walked into the room, she and Barr said hello and gave each other a big hug -- both wiping away tears.
"It was beyond words; it was very emotional," said Barr about meeting Musselman. "It was a good thing...for both of us."
"It wsa amazing," said Musselman. "It was like hugging my husband again-- hugging a piece of my husband."
Mussellman and Barr sat down and talked about Michael, looked at pictures of him and shared their experiences with each other.
"I know Mike is smiling down," said Michelle Musselman about her husband. "He was always such a giver and putting people before himself."
In the two years since receiving the transplant, Barr's quality of life has been transformed. "Everything I did was difficult," she said. "Immediately coming home from the hospital after transplant my whole life kind of opened up."
"I go to the gym now," said Barr.
Following this meeting, Barr and Musselman both she would like to keep contact with each other. "I would like to be a part of their lives, at least a little bit, and stay in touch," said Barr.
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