After a lot of thought and consideration, Amber Hollier decided to donate a kidney to a man she’d never met. What she did was amazing, but just wait till you find out how she spent her recovery time.
Single mom Hollier lives in Louisiana with her daughter Amber. It was through Amber that she first found out about the plight of a local man, Darin Tassin from Covington, who was in need of a kidney.
Hollier followed Tassin’s story on his Facebook page and discovered there was a simple test she could take to find out if she could be a potential donor. She took it. No one could have predicted the series of events that followed.
In early 2015, more than a year after Hollier had first heard about Tassin’s condition, she found out that she was the perfect match to be a donor – more-so than any other candidate. Things began to move forward.
But just weeks before Hollier’s next round of tests, she dramatically pulled out. Understandably terrified about the implications of the operation, she didn’t feel she could go through with it. But over time, things would change.
Hollier put it to the back of her mind, thinking that things would surely improve for Tassin without her help – but fate had other plans. Ten months later, a picture of Tassin appeared on her Facebook feed. He looked terrible. Things had taken a nosedive, and he still couldn’t find a match.
Learning that Tassin was being subjected to five hours per day of dialysis compelled her to act. Hollier knew she could help Tassin – a father to six kids and husband to wife Danielle – lead a normal family life again.
After two days of rigorous testing and psych assessments, Hollier’s suitability as a match for Tassin went in front of a committee. It gave her the go-ahead. Despite the reservations of some of her friends and family, she scheduled in the surgery for April 2016.
Hollier decided that she wouldn’t meet Tassin and his family before the operation. “Frankly, I didn’t want to not like him,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “It isn’t my job to determine who is worthy of my kidney.”
“She is a remarkable person,” Tassin’s wife Danielle told Fox 8 WVUE in an interview. “She has done this out of just pure love and wanting to help somebody.”
The surgery was a success. Just 22 hours after donating her left kidney, Hollier was allowed to go home and Tassin was doing well too. Although she had wanted to remain anonymous, she gave her mom permission to visit Tassin’s family.
What lay ahead was a month-long recovery period. But instead of simply lying there waiting to recover, Hollier decided she could use the time in a more rewarding fashion. It seems there is no end to this woman’s kindness.
Five days into her recovery, Hollier heard about a pair of two-week-old kittens that needed a foster mom to bottle-feed them. Who that foster mom would turn out to be?
Yep, you’ve guessed it – Hollier took them in. Tillie and Ricki, both from different nearby animal shelters, would be the first kittens she had ever bottle-fed. And she would do it while recovering from a major op.
With so much time on her hands, it turns out Hollier was in the perfect position to look after the animals. “Bottle-feeding is normally too intense for working people,” she said in an interview with animal-news website The Dodo.
The kittens needed close and regular care. Hollier had to feed them every few hours – even during the night. “There were days I could have absolutely stayed in bed,” she said. “But these guys needed me.”
“Their bottle schedule matched up almost perfectly with my medication schedule,” she said. “One kidney saved three lives.” Despite being hard work at times, looking after the kittens actually helped her to recover. The regular exercise of getting up and tending to the kittens was good for her healing process.
But Hollier has a history with this sort of thing. She’s always loved animals and had adopted a sickly cat before. After the cat passed away just a year later, she developed a passion for taking in vulnerable pets.
Even today, she and her daughter live with two sick dogs – Jill, who suffers from diabetes, and Saint, who has terminal cancer. And then there’s the three rescue pups, an adopted rabbit and a pair of unwanted reptiles.
As for Tillie and Ricki, in May 2016, the eight-week old kittens were being put up for adoption on Hollier’s Facebook page. And Tassin? Well, he’s doing great, “I’d like to see all my kids grow up and get married,” he told Fox 8 WVUE. Thanks to Hollier, he should be able to.