Good Neighbors

Woman Saves Police Officer After He Put Her In Jail

He helped her turn her life around when she needed it most. Now, she's able to return the favor.

I like to think that I'm a nice person. I hold doors for people and offer thank you's at every opportunity. If anything, I'd say I'm overly polite to servers in restaurants. But offering my kidney to a stranger? I'm not so sure I'd be on board with that.

For a woman in Alabama, the choice to donate her kidney was an easy one. Especially since the man who needed it had helped her before in a big way.

Jocelyn James donated the organ to Terrell Potter, a retired police officer. Potter had arrested James two times eight years ago when she was battling opioid addiction and had racked up over a dozen criminal charges, according to WVTM.

James credits Potter for helping to turn her life around when he arrested her and put her in jail in 2013. Jocelynn James/Facebook

"She was constantly in trouble, stealing, doing drugs and those type of things," Potter said. "She'd almost make it out, but then she'd keep falling back into the same pattern."

After going to prison in 2013 for a six month sentence, James, who was on Alabama's "Most Wanted List," says she finally had enough.

"I was sick of living that life, and I wanted to do something different," James said.

Thanks to Potter, she was able to get sober and turn her life around.

Terell Potter (pictured here with James) says he was surprised to hear that she wanted to donate her kidney to him. Jocelynn James/Facebook

Fast forward to November 2019, and Potter's kidney was failing. He reached out to family members first for a donor, but when none of them were viable, his daughter and others shared his story on social media, hoping to find a match.

After James came across a Facebook post about Potter's search for a donor, she immediately knew what she had to do.

"The Holy Spirit told me, 'You've got that man's kidney.' I knew right then I had his kidney," she said.

The surgery took place in July 2020 and Potter says the organ "started working as soon as it was put in." Jocelynn James/Facebook

After undergoing a few tests, James got a call from Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville who told her they "never had a better match for a kidney transplant."

The surgery took place in July and both James and Potter had successful recoveries. Now, Potter considers James family and says he'll never forget the sacrifice she made.

"It's made a great relationship and a bond between us that can go forever. There's no doubt about that," Potter said. "Her giving me a kidney, It extended my life."

Potter say he considers James like one of his own daughters. Jocelynn James/Facebook

James currently runs a non-profit called "The Place of Grace" where she counsels other women in addiction and helps them get treatment.

"I want people to realize that there is help out there for them," James said. "It doesn't matter what happens in your life. You can always turn it around."

Hear Potter and James tell their story in their own words...

How can you start something good?

Inspired by James' incredible act of kindness?

You might not be in a situation to offer someone your kidney, but you can be open to the opportunity if it comes your way. Click here and register to become a living donor at UPMC.

Also, you can show James some kindness and make a donation to her non-profit ministry, The Place of Grace, by clicking here.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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