Fallen Midland Marine Donates The Gift of Life

by Bob Lawrence

SAN DIEGO - The military in general they all kind of get choked up.

Sgt. Jake Chadwick couldn't even begin to realize that level of support until tragedy struck another Marine.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Chadwick, after deploying to Iraq, discovered his kidneys were failing, and making things worse his blood type is Type O.

Dr. Kristen McKeel is a transplant surgeon.

It made it more difficult to match a kidney to him since he could only have another "O" donor.

There was a match, but then the donor withdrew.

"That was, that was tough, I mean we had just gotten the news that we might have to start the search again," Chadwick said.

At the same time in Pensacola, Florida, another young Marine was going through flight training. At 24 years old, 2nd Lt. Patrick Wayland suffered a fatal heart attack.

His wishes and that of his family, was that his organs be donated.

This kidney won't go to waste it's going to be used well," Chadwick said.

Jake's wife, Victoria, couldn't believe it either.

"It's beyond awesome, it's one brother giving to another, I can't explain it," Victoria said.

Friends of Lt. Wayland actually called the hospital to see how Jake was doing.

One day, he and Victoria would like to meet up with the Wayland family.

"I'm sure they would like to see who maybe they can stay connected in some way through me," Chadwick said.

Four others also received donated organs.

Sgt. Chadwick was released from the hospital on Thursday night. Chadwick is expecting their second child in November.

NewsWest 9 contributed to this report.