Hooters Waitress Donates Her Kidney to Customer

Illustration for article titled Hooters Waitress Donates Her Kidney to Customer

A waitress at a Hooters in Roswell, Georgia gave the best customer service of her lifetime by donating one of her kidneys to a restaurant regular. Mariana Villarreal had only been working at the restaurant for three months when she offered one of her kidneys to Don Thomas, a longtime customer who had lost both of his kidneys to cancer. Villarreal’s grandmother had recently passed away from kidney failure. Since she wasn’t able to help her grandmother, she felt compelled to help Thomas, affectionally nicknamed “The Don” by Hooters staff. Miracles can happen anywhere, even breastaurants.

“I wasn’t able to do anything for my grandma, Villarreal told USA Today. “If [Don] can live two more years, happy as he’s ever been, that’s fine with me. That’s not up to me. I did my part, now it’s God’s turn to keep him alive.” Villarreal and Thomas went into surgery on Friday and the procedure went extremely well, WTSP 10 reports. Villarreal posted a sweet photo on her Instagram of the two of them at the hospital.


“Mariana and I are just two normal people,” Thomas said. “One who needs help—me—and Mariana who is so willing to give help.”

Image via Getty.

Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

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My best friend’s mom needed a kidney and no one we knew was a match. So my friend and I gave genetic information to the Univ of Neb Med Center and they submitted it to the Paired Donation database. Turned out I matched a guy in Iowa (who needed a kidney) and my friend’s mom matched his wife (who was a willing donor). So the hospital did all four surgeries at the same time, and all is well now, 7 years later. The paired donation program is great because you don’t need someone you know to be a match, just to be a willing donor.