Tim Letts, a US Army veteran who was an Uber driver in New Jersey, went out of his way to help a 73-year-old man, Bill Sumiel, who needed kidney transplantation. Sumiel suffered kidney failure shortly after developing diabetes nearly three decades ago.
According to local news reports, his condition made doctors advise him to search for a kidney donor, rather than wait for his turn on the kidney transplant list.
One fateful day, Sumiel called an Uber to take him home after his regular treatment at the dialysis center. Unbeknownst to him, the call was about to lead him to an Uber driver, Letts, who was about to save his life.
When Letts picked Sumiel up from the dialysis center, the two men chatted during the ride. Sumiel’s instant connection with Tim led him to share personal stories with him including being on the transplant donor recipient list for three and a half years. He was also impressed after he found out Letts was a veteran, who only chose to drive on weekends to make extra money. “Tim was so friendly that I felt at ease explaining what was going on in my life” said Sumiel. By the end of the trip, Letts said he believed God put Sumiel in his car that day. Following the chat, Letts decided to donate his kidney to a dismayed Sumiel who thought he was joking.
When he arrived at Sumiel’s house, he left his name and number, indicating that he was serious about his offer.
Sumiel expressed more gratitude after tests by the transplant team approved and confirmed Tim as “an outstanding match.” In December 2021, the pair underwent successful surgery, that saved a life and has inspired kindness in many.