The gift of life: Owosso man receives Christmas miracle

OWOSSO, Mich. (WLNS) – Inside the Shiawassee dispatch center, emergency responders are trained to handle any crisis situation.

It was in that very room 16 years ago, that Troy Gorden took a call that would later change his life forever.

“It was a call of a 2-year-old child that was having difficulty in breathing here in Owosso,” Gorden stated.

“His airway was just sounding really not right, something wasn’t right so I picked up the phone, called 911 and they dispatched the fire department,” said Tracie Settlemyre.

It was Troy’s calming demeanor and quick reaction to send first responder’s that ultimately saved Tracie Settlemyre’s then 2-year-old son.

“That’s just how Troy is, he helps people, he doesn’t ever ask for anything in return,” Settlemyre stated.

But 3 years ago, life took a turn when Troy was diagnosed with kidney disease causing him to retire after 22 years as an emergency dispatcher.

Troy spent months, even years waiting for a kidney donor match until a miracle happened.

“I received a text from Tracie and she had obviously vividly remembered the call and had heard that I needed a kidney and basically just said that her and her husband felt that I was instrumental in saving her son’s life and for that they wanted to repay me by giving me a kidney and the gift of life,” said Gorden.

So Tracie got tested and found out her and Troy were the same blood type, making her kidney a match…which is a rare discovery, but fate nonetheless.

“When somebody needs help but especially a friend, that’s what you do…you reach out and help,” said Settlemyre.

It was just last week, Troy and Tracie had surgery and for Troy it’s a moment he says he’s eternally grateful for.

“To find someone who is willing to make that sacrifice very unselfishly…she’s an angel, that’s what I call her is my angel,” Gorden stated.

Troy says for him, it’s a Christmas miracle.

“I believe that my job is not finished here, whatever the capacity is and that God’s looking out for me and has placed her in my life because we have work to do,” said Gorden.

Troy says in the state of Michigan, there are more than 1600 people in need of a kidney.

If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve posted a link under the “Seen on 6” section of our website.

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