By Juli McDonald

RYE, NH (CBS) – Under blue skies, on a beautiful summer Friday, a special group from Gloucester prepped for a day on the water. “It was like I already knew everybody. It was weird I came into it and felt like I was home,” said Thomas Edwards.

You may recognize some of the younger crew — siblings Marissa and Tyler McLaughlin — from the reality show Wicked Tuna. But this story, is bigger and better than even the Pinwheel’s best catch.

“My savior Thomas and I are going for a boat ride,” said the McLaughlins’ dad, Marty.

Marty McLaughlin gets choked up, and who wouldn’t? In just days, a new friend, his savior will give a lifesaving kidney donation.

Thomas Edwards and Marty McLaughlin (WBZ-TV)

“Reading about what a donor goes through, my heart was just thinking, ‘Oh my God, how could they do that?'” said Marty’s wife, Donna McLaughlin.

The gift is an answered prayer, with ties to heaven. Exactly one year ago, Thomas Edwards of Virginia lost his dad to kidney disease. He recalled a conversation they had after a failed kidney match.

“He said, ‘That was one of the most loving things anybody had done for me.’ I remember him saying that and I said it didn’t work. Right after that he said, ‘Maybe it was meant for somebody else.'”

With his dad in his heart, Edwards found

“It became overwhelming I kind of just stepped back and said, ‘God if you want this to work, you pick out who it’s going to be.’ After that I got an email,” Edwards recalled.

And now 12 months after losing his father, Thomas Edwards will let the McLaughlin kids keep theirs.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I just appreciate it so much. I really do,” Marty said.

“I’m blessed to be able to do it. I’m glad to be able to do it,” Thomas replied.

Juli McDonald


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