Kidney Donation From Deceased Marine Saves a Fellow Marine's Life

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A Fallen Hero's Return Home

Some 1,400 miles away, in the heart of Texas, the community of Midland poured onto the streets on Thursday for the return of 2nd Lt. Wayland, who went into cardiac arrest while swimming in flight gear during training.

Wayland's body was escorted from the airport to the funeral by Patriot Guard, Midland Police officers and Midland County Sheriff's deputies, according to local reports.

A community member said, "Our community is very sad right now. Very sad but very proud."

Chadwick said a doctor working with the Wayland family had searched the internet to find their ideal donor recipient. They found Jacob, as well as four other recipients for Wayland's organs.

"[Wayland] was a registered donor but [the family] wanted to find people who they thought were deserving," Chadwick said.

Late Aug. 6, after it was decided where Wayland's organs would go, he was removed from life support.

A Second Chance At Life

That same morning, the Chadwicks recieved a phone call from the hospital: They had found a potential match.

"We were at home. We were actually going to take Ella to the Sea World for the first time," Victoria said. "We couldn't even move after that call."

Chadwick underwent the kidney transplant the next day.

"This whole thing hasn't even sunk in yet, it happened so fast," Chadwick said. "I haven't even realized yet that I have someone else's kidney in me."

His wife said, "It was a joyful time, but at the same time we knew that it was at the cost of somebody's life."

The couple said they want to give the Wayland family space and time to grieve, but hope that the Waylands will eventually reach out them.

"I don't know them personally, I don't even know much about them. But what they did was pretty incredible so for that reason I'd love to meet them," Chadwick said.

The young Marine, who will be medically separated from the Marine Corps next month and become a father for the second time in November, said this transplant is a second chance at life.

"You always just want to do better the second time around at anything, I think," he said. "It makes me want to appreciate my life more, be a great father and a better husband."

Chadwick was also inspired by the flood of support he recieved from total strangers after Operation Gratitude spread the word about his condition.

"I've never done anything for these people directly and all these people wanted to help me," Chadwick said. "I just want to give back to people somehow. How? I'm not even sure yet, but ultimately that's what I want to do."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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