West Michigan dad gets new kidney for Christmas

WOODLAND, Mich. (WOOD) – A Barry County family received an early Christmas miracle.

Cris Male, who had been on the transplant list since Jan. 26, 2011, received a new kidney last week.

Cris Male, Woodland, kidney transplant
Cris Male’s four kids with Santa. (Courtesy photo)

Male told 24 Hour News 8 that on Dec. 13, his 4-year-old daughter Gracie asked Santa Claus for a Paw Patrol sleeping bag and a new kidney for her dad. At 4 a.m. the next day, Male got the call from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s that they had a donor for him.

“I handed it (the phone) to my husband and he started talking, and all of a sudden I heard him say, ‘Yay! We got a kidney,’” Julie Male recalled.

The family raced to the hospital. The transplant surgery went smoothly, and Male is already back home.

“When you get that call, it’s just like the most- I mean, it brings tears to your eyes,” Cris Male said. “You’ve worked so hard for that. You wait on it for so long. Some people, it don’t never happen.”

“When I told all my classmates, some of them didn’t know what a kidney is, [but] it was exciting,” said Male’s 8-year-old son Malachi.

Cris Male, Woodland, kidney transplant
Cris Male hugs his daughter, Gracie. (Dec. 22, 2016)

Male’s twin 15-year-olds said they never had any doubt their dad would get a new kidney. They also asked their peers and teachers to pray it would happen before Christmas.

“All my kids believe in Santa Claus,” Male explained, “and between Santa Claus and the big guy upstairs, it all panned out.”

The Male family said that there’s still a road to recovery, but they are excited to have received the special organ donation.

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