TEMPLE, Texas (Fox 44)– In 2009, Hiram Maldonado started having kidney issues and needed a transplant.

“Hiram and his entire family are amazing, and it’s a privilege taking care of them,” their surgeon Dr. Steven Potter said. “And, he’s a guy he has three amazing kids. He’s worked all his life.”

He quickly he found a donor… his mom.

“It completely changed my life from one second to the next,” Hiram Maldonado said. “From being 100% healthy to being completely dependent on a machine to to survive.”

That kidney lasted him about ten years, and then he was in need of another one.

“It makes a huge difference when you can give somebody something as small as a kidney,” Hiram Maldonado said. “You can literally change a person’s life, extend that person’s life to the point where they can go back to work, they can be independent again. They don’t have to worry about being hooked up to a machine.”

Thankfully, another significant woman in his life was a match…his wife Keisha.

“I kind of knew what to expect, and I was super excited that it got to be me to give him a kidney this time,” Keisha Maldonado said.

But, Hiram didn’t want to see his wife in any pain.

“Not being able to help her while she’s recovering from donating, it made it really hard emotionally,” Hiram Maldonado said.

She describes her kidney donation to her husband as exciting.

“I want him here with me,” Keisha Maldonado said. “I want us to enjoy our life. And yes, you’re going to take my kidney because I want that. You know, I want you to be healthy for me and for our kids.”

They say they know how long people spend on donor lists, so to have two special women in Hiram’s life who were matches, has been a huge blessing.

“We do not take that for granted because people spend years just on a list waiting,” Keisha Maldonado said. “So that does not go unnoticed for us, and we’re grateful for that.”

Dr. Potter did the surgeries for the family and says 102,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a transplant. But, only about 24,000-25,000 kidney transplants are done each year.

“The hard part is finding a living donor,” Dr. Potter said. “You need to find someone who’s willing to make that special, amazing gift of life.”

To learn more about being an organ donor, contact Baylor Scott and White or visit here.