In 1999, doctors diagnosed jazz musician David Ware with kidney failure. By December 2008, his dialysis treatment stopped working and a transplant was his only hope. His manager sent out a desperate e-mail asking for a donor. He found one from an unlikely source.
Laura Mehr is a jewelry maker from Port St. Lucie, Florida. Her husband, Maurice, was a fan of David’s, but she had never seen him play.
“I had met her husband a long time ago. Her husband was a great artist. We had a connection on that level,” David said.
Maurice died in 2007 after a lifelong bout with a tissue-weakening disease called Ehler-Danlos syndrome.
After her husband’s death, Laura subscribed to David’s e-mail newsletter. Last winter, she received the e-mail from David’s manager about David’s condition.
“It seemed in that moment that it was meant to be,” Laura said.
WATCH VIDEO OF DAVE AND LAURA BELOW
Inspired by her husband and his love of David’s music, she immediately volunteered to be a kidney donor. She and David were a perfect match. He received his transplant in May and has been recovering and practicing.
“I was born to play the saxophone,” David said. “This year has been a real ordeal and music is what’s keeping me on top of the situation.”
In his first solo concert since the operation, David wowed the crowd with shrills and speed, sewn together with a spontaneous spirit — and Laura was there for all of it. It was her first chance to see those gifts in action
“We have a great spiritual connection and a spiritual understanding of why we were brought together,” she said.