Curtis Dandridge, known as “Uncle Rudy” by neighbors, had been on dialysis for 14 years. Three days a week he would be up at 4:30 a.m. to travel from his home to the hospital, where he would spend hours undergoing treatment.
It had been a long, tiring journey, but it all came to an end when a perfect match kidney saved Dandridge’s life. Doctors and nurses had remarked that they had never seen a healthier kidney, it was exactly what Dandridge had been waiting for.
There was no brain activity and her parents were asked to make a decision about Sinclair’s healthy organs. Sinclair’s mother, Madeline Herrington, is an organ donor herself and knew that it would be best for everyone if something positive could come out of their personal tragedy.
Everything except Sinclair’s skin, bones, and eyes were donated. There was one specific request that Herrington had, though.
One of Sinclair’s kidneys was to go to a man she called “Uncle Rudy,” their beloved neighbor. At the time tests were done, Dandridge was not aware that the potential kidney belonged to Sinclair.
They didn’t want to get his hopes up if it wasn’t a match. The organ could not be more perfect for Dandridge, though, and has absolutely changed his quality of life.
Dandridge now has time for some of his favorite activities, such as fishing. This is quite a coincidence, too, since fishing was also one of Sinclair’s favorite activities.
Sinclair loved the outdoors and enjoyed boating and four-wheeling with her beloved dog Duke. She lived alone, so she treated Duke like her own child.
Herrington recalls Sinclair celebrating Duke’s birthday with a cake ever year on her own birthday. Sinclair is remembered as being kind, selfless, and adventurous.
Sinclair’s death is still being investigated, and Herrington hopes for justice for her daughter soon. She also encourages others to become organ donors.
The life-giving ability of organ donation gave Dandridge a second chance at a fuller life, while allowing Sinclair’s memory and passions to live on. In the midst of tragedy, Sinclair’s death is giving way to new life.