BRYANT, Ark. — A Bryant man is thanking his best friend who's saving his life, he's doing that, by giving generously of himself.
Justin Powell has lived his life with Polycystic Kidney Disease. He’s known one day they’d fail, and he’d need new ones.
If you look at him with the naked eye, he looks like any other person. You couldn’t tell he’s been fighting the life-long disease.
“I was born with kidney disease,” said Powell.
His kidneys are bigger than they are supposed to be with cysts growing on them, and gradually over the years they have declined.
Two years ago, they failed.
"I started dialysis in January 2017,” he said. “That’s when I started the kidney transplant donor journey.”
For two years, his life has depended on dialysis to do what his kidneys can't, and even still, he’s been to the hospital frequently.
"I had a donor at first and then they backed out,” said Powell.
He was back to square one months ago as time kept ticking. Powell said doctors told him the average person can only survive five years on dialysis.
"So when that person backed out, they told me I had a donor, and that donor is my best friend."
That man is Caleb Lambert, a best friend of Justin's since childhood.
It was a long journey finding the perfect match, but doctors told Powell Caleb miraculously was the perfect match.
“There’s so many things that go into finding a match,” Powell said. “It’s crazy to me that he would be a match, and I can’t explain how thankful I am.”
The two share many memories together over the years. Powell stood by Lambert’s side at his wedding watching his dreams come true.
Now Powell’s mom is thanking Lambert for standing by her son when he needs him most.
"It's just awesome,” Powell’s mother said. “Knowing he won't have to suffer anymore."
Now after 28 years, she can watch her son’s dreams come true and life bloom.
"I can’t wait to see him do the things he's always wanted to do that he hasn't been able to do,” she said. “He wants to coach basketball. Now he can do that.”
Lambert is not one to accept recognition. THV11 did try to get in contact with him Wednesday for comment, but did not hear back.
Both men are gearing up for the life changing surgery next Tuesday, March 26.