Banner couple’s search for a living kidney donor continues
Published 11:22 am Friday, May 19, 2023
By Davis Coen
A Calhoun County man’s ardent search for a living kidney donor caught public attention back in January, with the eye-catching roadside signs he and his wife put up around North Mississippi.
Also a large decal in the back window of his pickup truck continues to gain motorists’ attention, calling for potential donor candidates to reach out to the phone number displayed.
Small businesses throughout Panola, Calhoun, Yalobusha, Tallahatchie, Pontotoc and DeSoto Counties have put signs in windows, on doors and on wire stakes in yards to help find a donor – a daunting task since over 100,000 people in the U.S. are in the same troubling position.
This disheartening reality is what first led the couple to take matters into their own hands. Terry Joe Blount, 63, continues to press on with his quest. In fact, one of the large signs on the side of Hwy. 9W near the Lafayette/Calhoun County line is still getting traction.
On Monday, a woman whose attention was captured by the sign and reached out was tested for her compatibility. “This particular lady is ex-military from Arizona,” said wife, Audra, “and recently relocated, and just saw it one day driving to Oxford.” She and Terry Joe, who is type O-negative, are still awaiting the test results, as they continue to drive to Tupelo three days a week for dialysis.
“He sits in a chair for four-and-a-half to five hours each session, then we drive another hour back home. He’s exhausted and sleeps mostly the rest of the day,” Audra said, but also that Terry Joe is doing fairly well despite the ongoing struggle.
The couple maintains hope and determination to find a match, with the help of the clever signage campaign.