GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Navy Seabee stationed in Gulfport signed up to become a volunteer marrow donor through the Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program in 2009. Four years later, he got the call that he was a match with someone fighting a life threatening blood disease. He was about to be deployed overseas; but not before giving a life saving gift to a complete stranger.
Petty Officer Andy King was only 20 when he signed up to become a donor during Navy boot camp. He never expected to be a match, but was more than happy to help when he got the call.
"I figured if I could help save someone why not?"
He said it didn't matter that he didn't know the person he was helping.
"It feels pretty good knowing somebody is not going to die that could have. So I'm happy to have done it."
He had the procedure last week at Georgetown University Hospital and said it was pretty simple for him, with no side effects.
"When I went for the donation to the hospital, there's blood that's drawn, then you're hooked up to machines, and there tubes hooked up to your arm for about four hours. Once it's done, it's done."
He hopes his story will encourage others to sign up and be tested to become a potential donor for someone else in need.
"I would encourage people to sign up. You can't lose. There's no reason not to help other people who might need your help."
King is expected to be deployed overseas within the next few weeks. He said he is glad he got the call in time to make a difference in someone else's life.