Mom's Sudden Death Saves the Life of Her Daughter’s Boyfriend

Karey Gengler died from a brain aneurysm, but she became a savior of her daughter’s ailing boyfriend.

Following her death, one of her kidneys was transplanted into Mike Rogers Jr., the 22-year-old boyfriend of her daughter, Josie Brown, as reported by Cleveland Clinic.  

“At first, I didn’t want to accept it. With so many overwhelming emotions from her death, the last thing on my mind was getting her kidney."

Without warning, Gengler died in December 2018 at the age of 46. Her husband asked that one of her kidneys be provided to Mike, after learning that she had signed up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.

For over a year, Mike had spent long hours on dialysis to keep himself alive as he waits for her turn in the long waiting list for a kidney transplant.

Mike, who lives from Youngstown, Ohio, had suffered from kidney failure since 2017 due to Alport syndrome, a genetic condition that typically affects one’s kidneys, hearing, and vision.


When Karey’s kidney was offered to him, Mike was at first reluctant.

“At first, I didn’t want to accept it. With so many overwhelming emotions from her death, the last thing on my mind was getting her kidney,” he recalled. “But Josie and her family urged me to get it. And then we found out we were a perfect match.”

The transplant was performed a few days later, and it proceeded with no major complications. Josie was by Mike’s side as he recovered from the operation. He was discharged after three days.

Josie, 22, said her mother once mentioned to her that she would consider being a donor for Mike.

“That whole week is still a blur to me,” said Josie, who is an industrial engineering student at Youngstown State University. “But it means so much knowing that my mom can live on by donating her organs to Mike and others so they can live normal lives again.”


This story calls to mind a suicide survivor’s life-changing experience with a face transplant.

In 2014, Katie Stubblefield attempted to take her own life by shooting herself under the chin with a rifle. She survived but was left completely botched. She later underwent a face transplant, considered one of the longest transplants ever performed.

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