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Kidney recipient meets donor's family, thanks them for second chance at lifeSubmitted: 08/10/2014
Story By Karolina Buczek


MERRILL - Organ donors give many people a second chance at life. A Merrill teen saved many lives after he died in a car accident in 2009.

Jordan Buehler's organs were given to people who were on the organ waiting list for a long time. Matthew Meyer is one of them.

"I was near death, two steps from death's doorway," said Matt Meyer. "Now, I have a brand new life."

Meyer will never forget the amazing gift Buehler gave him: the gift of life.

"I was born with only one kidney and it was golf ball sized. The doctors always knew it was going to fail. They just didn't know when," explained Meyer. "Then, I hit puberty and started growing like crazy. I grew like five inches. Eventually, my kidney just couldn't keep up anymore so I started kidney failure."

Matt's family members tried to give him one of their kidneys. But, doctors couldn't find a good match.

"I rejected my entire family for a new kidney," said Meyer.

Then, he started getting very sick.

"Dialysis stopped working for me. I started retaining all the water. I was carrying around 40 extra pounds of water weight," explained Meyer.

Matt was put on the organ waiting list in June 2009.

It was up to a stranger to save his life. Jordan Buehler did just that.

Jordan died in a car accident in November of 2009. His parents donated his organs after they found his organ donor sticker on his driver's license.

"Parts of him can live on and he can do good for other people, whether he knows it or not," explained Jordan's parents, Bryan and Joleen Buehler.

Doctors decided to give Jordan's kidney to Matt.

"I got a call at 11:45 at night on the 25th of November saying they had a kidney in Madison, Wisconsin. Within 15 minutes, we were on the road, driving up," said Meyer.

The moment was bittersweet for the Meyer family.

"[I thought] oh my gosh, he's finally going to get better. Oh my gosh, something happened to somebody. They told us there was an auto accident in Northern Wisconsin," explained Matt's parents, Karen and Jim Meyer.

In the operating room, doctors were hopeful that Jordan's kidney would save Matt's life.

"They told me the kidney started working right then and there. Even before they sewed me back up," said Meyer.

Matt quickly got better, but he wanted to know more about the person who saved his life.

"I was very curious. I wanted to see who it was and what he was like. But I couldn't contact the family because I thought it was too soon," said Meyer.

Five years later, Matt reached out to the Buehler family.

"It's my five-year anniversary and I wanted to meet the family. I wanted to see who brought me new life," said Meyer.

In between tears and smiles, Matt showed the Buehler family the tattoo he got in Jordan's memory.

"He's shocked us with his tattoo on his arm. It was very nice for him to do that. It shows us how appreciative he is for a second chance at life," explained Jordan's father, Bryan.

The Meyer family got the chance to show how grateful they are for Jordan's gift.

"Jordan will always be a part of our family. In March, we wish him happy birthday and we thank him every thanksgiving and pray for the family," said Matt's parents.

The families will forever share a special bond.

To become an organ donor, all you have to do is select the donor option when you apply for a license or ID card. You can also apply online. The link is attached below.

Related Weblinks:
Organ Donor Sign Up

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/24/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We take you to Wausau and bring you a conversation with a neighbor of Nengmy Vang, the suspect of Wednesday's shooting in the Wausau area that took the life of an officer and 3 other people.

Investigators say Wednesday's shooting started with a domestic incident between Vang and his wife. We'll bring you observations from a domestic abuse advocate and a family law attorney.

And the arguments are done and the case is in the jury for the trial for Kristopher Torgerson, the Wausau man who is accused of killing Stephanie Low and burying her body in Forest County. We'll take you to Wausau and talk about where the case goes from here.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MARATHON COUNTY - People living in the Aspen Apartments in Weston said they're still shaken up by shootings from two days ago.

Neighbors who lived in the same building as the suspect, Nengmy Vang, say some of them have been allowed to come back to their apartments today.

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WASHINGTON - UPDATE: 3-24-17, 4:00pm:  Ryan bemoans collapse of health care bill:

Speaker Paul Ryan says the collapse of the House Republican health care bill means former President Barack Obama's health care law will be around for the foreseeable future.

The Wisconsin Republican addressed reporters minutes after GOP leaders abruptly shelved the legislation, averted likely defeat for the bill. But it still dealt a damaging setback to President Donald Trump, Ryan and an entire party that has long said it wants to annul Obama's statute.

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RHINELANDER - It's barely 6 a.m. on Wednesday, and this group is already breathing hard.

About a dozen members of the YMCA of the Northwoods pedal fast and slow, their bike shoes spinning up and down.

Judi Linder is drenched in sweat. But class members like her keep coming back.

"It's been seven-plus years that I've been doing Sue's spin class," Linder says.

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Play Video

MARATHON COUNTY - The suspect in a Wisconsin shooting spree that left four people dead has been identified, and court records show one of the victims was his wife's divorce lawyer.

A person close to the investigation identified the suspect Friday as 45-year old Nengmy Vang. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak ahead of authorities officially identifying Vang.

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ST. GERMAIN - A school bus doesn't feature a lot of amenities. Seats, windows, and that's about it. But a company out of St. Germain thinks buses, and other big vehicles, make the perfect kitchens.

Caged Crow Fabrication is owned by Josh Romaker. He moved to the Northwoods about three years ago. Around the same time a woman in Madison approached him to help refurbish an old camper. He decided to make it into a food truck instead.

"We took on the challenge and that first build was featured on US Today and some magazines and our phone just started ringing. We've got them in Denver, Salt Lake City, New Jersey," said Romaker.

That was just the beginning for Romaker's company, Caged Crow Fabrication in St. Germain. They now specialize in food trucks of all kinds.

"If a customer wants a food truck that looks like a barn or a steam train or a school bus conversion, we really stick to the unique food truck builds," said Romaker.

The 1982 bus that Caged Crow Fabrication is working on now will be complete in a little over a month. The team made up of just a few workers has one rule- they never build the same thing twice. And they take their time.

"We have a sign on the wall here that says 'quality over quantity'. I think our reputation right now is really based on the attention to detail and I think we want to keep that up," said Romaker.


If you're interested in checking out more work from Caged Crow Fabrication, follow the link below.

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WAUSAU - The husband of one of four victims killed in Wednesday afternoon's shooting string wants people to focus on love, respect, and hope.

Sarah Quirt Sann, 43, died after a gunman shot her at the Tlusty, Kennedy, and Dirks law firm in Schofield.

Thursday, her husband, Scott Sann, posted a statement on Facebook thanking people for their support and encouraged people to make educated and mature statements about the shootings.

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