This is Home: Paramedic saves father and daughter six years apart
After gaining a national audience for their story, including an appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show, Kristi Hadfield and Molly Jones are using their newfound platform to raise awareness for kidney disease and kidney transplants.
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Two local women have gained a national audience after their story gained notoriety.
Paramedic Kristi Hadfield saved not only Molly Jones, but her father as well
This led to a friendship that works to help others.
Molly Jones’ first interaction with Kristi Hadfield happened in 2016 when her father, John Cunningham, had a heart attack.
Since this incident, the pair have remained in touch through Facebook.
A few years later, Jones fell ill with kidney disease, which she chronicled on the social media platform.
“I kind of started putting it out there for people to really understand what it’s like, and when I mentioned that I was going to need a transplant, she just kind of messaged me with, ‘Hey, kid, I’ve got your kidney,’ and from there everything just kind of went wild. And she went from being this guardian angel who came out of nowhere and rescued my dad, as a perfect stranger, to being family.”
After Hadfield donated her kidney to Jones, the pair gained national notoriety for their story and have since spoken publicly about their story on many platforms...including the Jennifer Hudson show. “Everything people talk about Jennifer Hudson...she really is that awesome in person, and her production team was just so cool, just some of the most wonderful people even, you know, behind the scenes when people think they aren’t looking, like, they are, and they’re really that nice too. It was just a really awesome experience and the fact that I got to share it with Kristi and my daughter was just phenomenal.”
Hadfield added to Jones’ statement in saying, “Yes, we were on the Jennifer Hudson Show, and it was absolutely incredible. Everybody there was so nice. We have had people reach out from all over the world asking about how they could become a living donor. The staff there was incredible, and it’s been amazing since then.”
Their time on the Jennifer Hudson show also yielded a welcome surprise, as the show worked with the Ritchie County Commission to name December 27, 2023, Kristi Hadfield day.
When asked about her thoughts on the gesture, Hadfield joyfully replied:
“Oh, my heavens, it completely caught me by a surprise for Ritchie County to do that! It was just amazing. I loved working out there, I love the community, the people, they’re so welcoming and amazing. We’re going to make it a fabulous day! I don’t know what we’re going to do yet, but it’s going to be fabulous. I can’t wait!”
Jones also shared in Hadfield’s excitement and claimed that the gesture:
“...quite literally brought me to tears, because she deserves every moment of recognition she possibly can. I can’t put into words what Kristi means to me, and how much she’s done for the community is just amazing.”
Jones and Hadfield have been using their newfound platform to raise awareness about kidney transplants and becoming a living donor.
Jones spoke of what motivated her and Hadfield to take on their cause.
“I was looking for somebody to take custody of my child, and Kristi literally saved my life. Being able to celebrate what she has done for me and knowing that 13 people die every day because they are not getting the kidney transplants they need because they don’t have Kristi Hadfield’s, it has really kind of sparked something and really motivated us to try to help really bring to light just how important organ donation is and the fact that most people you know don’t realize that you can be a living donor, and that you can donate a kidney and live a long, healthy life. Kristi and I have really just dedicated ourselves to promoting this and it’s been a wild ride. We’re so grateful and so blessed to be able to share this information with people and use this platform that we’ve been given as an opportunity to do this.
Jones and Hadfield have created a Facebook page called “Bean Buddies”, a transplant and kidney donation forum.
According to Jones,
“...we’re really using that to try to spread the word, not just really about transplants and donation, but also about life before, how to live on dialysis before you even hit stage four, stage five life with kidney disease, preventative measures, keeping those kidneys healthy as long as you can, prevention, even just using it as a support group because there are so many people in the world that really need that help.”
Hadfield also left off with one final sentiment for those who are interested in more information:
“Don’t be afraid to reach out if you have any questions, contact your local transplant center. Reach out to Molly and I, we’re on Facebook. You can always message us, if we don’t know the answer, we’ll find it for you, but any information that we can give you is what we’re here to do.”
Hadfield says that she and Jones are planning a donation drive in December during the “Bean-iversary” week of the transplant.
If you are interested in joining Jones and Hadfield’s Facebook group “Bean Buddies” you can click here for more information.
Copyright 2023 WTAP. All rights reserved.