Mary Smith Receives Real Hero Medical Award - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mary Smith Receives Real Hero Medical Award

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Before late summer 2005 Tracey Bell and Mary Smith only knew each other through their husbands at the Benton County Sheriff's Office. But a year ago they became closer than most ever experience.

"Thankfully she came along," said Tracey.    

"Well she knows I'm bullheaded when I make up my mind," said Mary.   

Tracey suffered from Alport Syndrome, a disease that killed her kidneys, and left her with chronic fatigue.

"I'd have to stop and rest quite often and especially with a young son it took a toll on me," Tracey said.  

She could hardly play fun and games, and had to quit her job. When Mary learned she needed a kidney transplant, Mary told her husband she was going to help.

"And I just looked at him and said well, I'm going to do that," said Mary.   

So she did.

After months of tests and paperwork. The pair went to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Mary lay in one bed, and Tracey another.

"Right after surgery within two days it was like a whole new Tracey her color had changed her eyes had sparkled, I mean it was the old Tracey," said Mary.   

Smiles came back, she had energy for Ethan. And Tracey grew a bond with Mary never to be taken away.

"Mary is my angel. She's changed my life. She's made me a better mother," Tracey said.   

"On my driver's license it says I'm an organ donor, but why wait until I'm dead to donate," said Mary.