Men share unbreakable bond: Kidney transplant brings strangers together

FOX 5 brought together two local men whose lives were changed forever by a kidney transplant back in February. FOX 5 first reported on McIntosh High School athletic director Leon Hammond’s need for a donated kidney last November and U.S. Secret Service agent Alan Reeves who gave him that gift of life. It’s now three months since the transplant surgery.

Both men say they are feeling good as they sat side-by-side in the McIntosh High School media center, where it all started last November. Faculty and staff surprised athletic director Leon Hammond. A kidney donor had been found, Atlanta Secret Service Agent Alan Reeves was a perfect match, who was a stranger to Hammond then. The two men and their families are now very close.

In fact, Leon wonders if he’s becoming more like Alan because of the shared organ.

"Do you not like spicy food?" Hammond asked Reeves. Hammond explained that he had lost the taste for spicy food and wondered whether Reeves shared the same trait. However, Reeves affirmed his love of hot sauce.

Last February at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, FOX 5 was there as a transplant team removed a healthy kidney from Reeves and placed it in Hammond, whose own kidneys were rapidly failing from disease.

Both men say they are fully recovered and healthy. Reeves is back to work as a Secret Service agent and Hammond as Athletic Director of McIntosh High School.

Both men thanked their families for their support, especially their children.