Father to Get Kidney From Daughter He Adopted Decades Ago

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 15, 2019US News
Father to Get Kidney From Daughter He Adopted Decades Ago
Billy Houze, 64, a pastor, with his adopted daughter DeLauren McKnight. (Billy Houze/Facebook)

A North Carolina man is set to receive a kidney from the daughter he adopted 27 years ago.

Billy Houze, a father of five, requires a kidney transplant after his kidneys began shutting down several years ago following gall bladder surgery.

Doctors told him in 2016 that he would die within five years if he didn’t get a new kidney.

According to his LinkedIn, Houze is a senior pastor at the First Baptist Church of Lawndale in Charlotte and has been a pastor since 1980.

DeLauren McKnight, who Houze and his wife adopted in 1992, stepped forward after tests revealed she was a match for the pastor.

“She told me, ‘Daddy, you thought you were saving my life pulling me from foster care but in actuality, you were saving my life so I could save yours later,'” Houze, 64, told ABC. “I am extremely proud of her.”

“I never thought I would be a match because I was adopted,” McKnight said. “I got the call at work and I wanted him to be the first person that knew. I called and I said, ‘Daddy, I have to tell you something. I’m a match.'”

“He said, ‘What are you mad for?’ I said, ‘No, I’m a match!’ He stopped talking and he was crying. I was shaking. It was overwhelming,” she said.

Houze wrote on Facebook about his adopted daughter that decades ago, “God sent us an angel that we could not have seen.”

“We took custody of her in an attempt to save her life from foster care. BUT GOD in His wisdom had a plan much greater. Now 27 years later, the revelation has been revealed,” he added. “We saved her so she could save my life from kidney disease. She is about to donate me a kidney in order to give me more years of life. Oh how I love this beautiful lady and the sacrifice she is willing to make. Pray for our journey, In Jesus name!”

According to the Shelby Star, the Houzes adopted McKnight after her mother, Karen Houze’s great-niece, struggled with drug addiction and attempted suicide twice before going to jail.

Billy Houze said that his experience with dialysis treatments and the uncertainty of waiting for a kidney has changed his life.

He said in addition to getting back to traveling as an evangelist and musician, he hopes to write a book.

The surgery is slated to take place in the next several weeks.

Doctors prepare for a kidney transplant
Doctors prepare for a kidney transplant in a file photo. (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

Kidney Donations

Some 113,000 people were on the national transplant waiting list as of January 2019, and 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant, according to the Department of Health & Human Services. A person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.

In 2018, 36,528 transplants were performed, setting a new record for the sixth consecutive year. The vast majority of transplants were kidney transplants, with 21,167 performed.

NTD Photo
(Department of Health & Human Services)

The second most common transplant was liver transplants with around 8,000 done and heart transplants with about 3,400 done.

Lung, kidney/pancreas, pancreas, intestine, and heart/lung transplants made up the rest.

About 62 percent of the organ recipients were male and about 55 percent were Caucasian.

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