AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Social media can be used for a lot of things, and it can even save a life. Jeffery Puckett, known as Nate to his family and friends, needs a new kidney.
Puckett, 32, wants to work, travel and one day start a family. However, the life he so desperately wants to live is on hold as he's shackled to a dialysis machine keeping his body alive.
"I am currently doing hemodialysis three days a week, four hours a day, I have no kidney function anymore, and I am in need of a kidney transplant," Puckett explains.
A genetic disorder attacked Puckett's kidneys as a boy, at 14 he received his first life-saving cadaver kidney. Doctors say Puckett took amazing care of his gift making his donor kidney last for 18 years, until it, too, gave out.
"It's agonizing I guess. Nothing I can do but wait around for a phone call," Nate said.
The member of Nate's family are not matches. He's on the transplant list, but the average wait is five years.
"It is limiting everything he his, everything he wants to do," said Kathryn Ingram, Nate's mom.
Puckett's mom describes losing hope until she met Lori Howard. Howard's husband, Jason, has the same disorder as Nate. Recently, Lori successfully used social media to find her husband a kidney.
"He received a transplant within six weeks of our story going viral on Facebook," said Howard.
Using a network of families, who've all used social media to help their loved ones receive organs, Howard is blasting social media with a "Do'Nate' Life for Nate" campaign.
So far 60,000 potential donors have heard Nate's story.
"I've had message from people calling me, asking me what can I do, how can I get tested," said Nate.
"I just want to pay it forward. So many people helped Jason and I want to be able to see Nate get that same chance," said Howard.
"Before Lori got us exposed on social media, I couldn't see the light. Now, I can see the light. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I know he is going to be okay," said Nate's mom.
If you are interested in learning more about Nate's story and seeing if you can help him or somebody else through organ donation, you can visit his Facebook page at Do"NATE" Life for Nate.
You can also visit Emory Health Care's Transplant Center's website by clicking here. Just tell them you want to be tested for Jeffery Puckett and give his birth date of Oct. 16, 1983.
We wish Jeffery Nate and his family well and will keep you updated on his story.