Kansas turkey hunt inspires kidney donation
WEBSTER COUNTY – Rob Robinson’s first meeting with Gillan Alexander was routine.
An avid hunter from rural Webster County, Robinson asked Alexander, a Western Kansas farmer, if he could hunt on his land. Sure, Alexander said, as long as you respect it.
It was a drill the hunter and landowner had practiced dozens of times with dozens of others.
The remarkable part came four years later when both men found themselves in a Kansas City hospital, where Robinson donated a kidney to his new friend.
“Now that I know Rob, it doesn’t surprise me he would do something like that,” said Alexander, 55. “He is quite a guy.”
After the initial meeting in the fall of 2008, Robinson, 43, returned to Alexander’s land a few times to hunt turkeys. He camped there last November, and this past April, Alexander insisted Robinson stay with him at the house. The two discovered they enjoyed similar TV shows – CSI, Criminal Minds and Big Bang Theory – and hobbies – snow skiing, water skiing and scuba diving.
They began texting each other daily, discussing the weather and their lives.
The April visit was also when the Mississippi man learned his new friend had been fighting a kidney disease for about 20 years and was badly in need of a transplant.
“I came back and told my wife I was thinking about donating a kidney,” he said.
Alexander insists he had no idea of Robinson’s plan. When he received a text in August the hunter had sent away for blood work and discovered his kidney was a match, the Kansas man was floored.
“It blew my doors off,” said Alexander, who named his kidney “Mississippi.” “I did a glory, hallelujah fit. I started crying and praising God and crying and praising God. I didn’t know what to think.”
The transplant was successfully completed on Nov. 26. Shortly before then, Robinson’s wife, Sharon, joined him in Kansas to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Alexander family. Both men were out of the hospital within four days, and both say they feel great today. They’ve also become advocates for organ donation.
“I gave a gift to Gil, but I feel like I’ve been given a gift, too,” said Robinson, who also works as a Starkville firefighter.
He’d hunted in Kansas numerous times before first meeting Alexander and even lived in the state for three years during the 90s. In 2007, he killed a huge Eastern turkey to set a Kansas record that still stands. While hunting pheasants in the area, he’d noticed Alexander’s land and the trees that made it a great place to catch birds.
“It wasn’t random at all,” Alexander said of their meeting. “God had a plan. It seems random, and in a sense it was, but it was meant to be.”
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to Press This! (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
About Chris Elkins
- Group digruntled by principal change April 22, 2016
- HLES names 3rd nine week honor roll April 26, 2016
- Pellet gun prompts Middle School lockdown April 26, 2016
- Hamby recognized for driving safety April 27, 2016
- FAFSA Fridays April 27, 2016
- Drug disposal day is Saturday April 28, 2016
- Rams fall short on Senior Night April 28, 2016
- Lady Toppers tripped by Lady Wolverines April 28, 2016
- A perfect festival April 28, 2016
- EDITORIAL: Collecting old fines, collecting on promises April 28, 2016
- THEOUSTEDONE: Oh yes. It is very interesting since Mrs. Dendy al...
- Consolodation | Home: […] Chickasaw consolidation likely headed to...
- Karie)Chapel: Thought-provoking article - I loved the facts . Do...
- Cortez Whittaker: Practical commentary . I am thankful for the infor...
- Byrne Cpa Firm Houston Ms | Rates for CPA Services for SMB: […] Globetrotters fun for all kids – Sulli...
- RT @wcbiweather: The heat index has surpassed 100 in many spots today. Stay cool out there! #mswx #alwx #wcbi http://t.co/Lt2LRZTDcm 3 years ago
- RT @dennisseid: OSHA: 24 work-related deaths in Miss. last year http://t.co/lgEYYtK7ZR 3 years ago
- Speech pathologists work to better communication skills | Monroe Journal http://t.co/lyHLvb0OS1 3 years ago
- Mumford & Sons bassist has blood clot on brain http://t.co/4xNLMhxaif 3 years ago
- Mobile home fire claims one | Itawamba Times http://t.co/FHouwxbnsp 3 years ago