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Short Description: Finding hope and a new life in an unlikely place. The story of one selfless man saving the life of a stranger.
  
OZZIE BACHS:

Basically, I would say I was a dead man walking. My body was deteriorating by the hours, by the minutes, and to the last hour.

REBA BACHS:

It was very sad to watch him. He would just doze off, you know. There's no life, you know.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Ozzie Bachs was dying of kidney failure. He'd already suffered three heart attacks. His strength was deteriorating by the hour. Then he found a donor. The doctors were standing by to do the operation. Everything was good to go. But then the kidney donor, the one whom Ozzie had been counting on to save his life, fell through. Does God have a plan that puts us in the right place at the right time? I'm Dwight Nelson. Let's look at the evidence.

[Music]
OZZIE BACHS:

My sister was a perfect match, as far as the blood was concerned and the cells were concerned.

F:

So based upon that we told all the doctors, that is his cardiologist, his nephrologist, and then the doctors, they were very happy, and they wanted to start everything.

M:

I learned a little bit later after having talking to her on many occasions, that she was not healthy enough, and she had consulted her doctor in Canada, and they didn't feel like that she could go through the operation.

REBA BACHS:

That night was very, very disturbing night, and we felt that there is no hope.

DWIGHT NELSON:

The process of obtaining matching kidney transplants is long and arduous. But as Ozzie would soon discover, delivery trucks not only transport goods, they can sometimes deliver hope.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

Ozzie owns a pizza restaurant, and the company I work for is a food distributor for Italian foods, and probably on the third or fourth delivery, I noticed that there was something different about Ozzie. He seemed depressed. So I asked him what was wrong.

OZZIE BACHS:

I said, yes, I have a kidney problem and I had a donor and it fell through. He said, What is your blood type. I said, It's"O" positive. He said, That's mine, too.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

And it just came out of my mouth, If you need a kidney and mine works for you, you can have mine. When I said it, Ozzie, I'm not sure that he understood what I just told him. It's almost as if he didn't hear it or something, and maybe he was just taken back by it. But before I left the store I wanted to make sure that he understood that I was serious, so I wrote down on a piece of paper my name and my phone number, and I wrote "kidney" with a question mark behind it and gave it to him.

OZZIE BACHS:

As soon as I explained to my family that there's a gentleman who walked in and offered me his kidney, my family was in awe.

REBA BACHS:

He said someone came. His blood and my blood is the same, but he's also willing to give kidney.

OZZIE BACHS:

They were surprised, yet they were very happy and they said, We need to get hold of this gentleman.

SEAN:

The thing that struck me was the beauty, not just cosmetically with the instrument, but what matters most to me within a guitar was the sound was there. And it was more balanced and fuller than anything I had really ever played at the time. Certain instruments resonate within the player in a way that really can't be substituted by any other instrument. And there are a lot of great guitars. But when you find that one that has does for you, it's almost a process of discovery when you sit down. For me personally,Kevin's guitars are one of the guitars that I've played that do something to you that pulls things out of you that you normally you wouldn't have thought of or wouldn't have played. And it seemed as though it had everything there that I was looking for.

DWIGHT NELSON:

While Ozzie's family celebrated, Jeff's family had a slightly different reaction.

SEAN:

I didn't right away make an order with Kevin. I actually left the show and when I came back down to L.A., about six months' later, we called up Kevin and went over to the shop and we ordered a guitar.

FD:

Oh, we were sitting down at the kitchen table for dinner, and it was like he came home; he had this great news that he couldn't wait to share with everybody, and he just very matter of factly, Guess what, you know I'm going to be donating a kidney. And I'm thinking, hmm, you know, were we going to talk about this? It just really caught me off guard.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

They thought I had lost my mind. My wife was obviously a little upset because I didn't talk to her; I didn't call her up beforehand and say, Look I got this great idea, what do you think? It just came out of my mouth, and that's basically what I told her, It just came out of my mouth.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Ozzie's health continued to deteriorate. Dialysis is a normal prescription for someone in Ozzie's condition, but his other health problems made dialysis a risk his doctors tried to avoid.

OZZIE BACHS:

The doctors were working on a certain medication and they felt like they could stimulate my kidneys, and they will give me some hormones I was missing in my body, and also they were giving me some special shots that will increase my hemoglobin.

M:

I started taking care of Oz about a year ago, when his kidneys started failing, and he was in need of either long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant.His prognosis, or long-term outlook on dialysis is not very good because of his underlying medical condition. A kidney transplant is a far better option for him.

REBA BACHS:

Finally, one morning he said, my Osmond said, I'm going to call Jeff. And he did. And Jeff played a wonderful role there, knowing Osmond, that he's not going to ask him. He said, okay, you want kidney or something? He said something to make the conversation very smooth for him.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

I'm not sure why it took him so long, but I remember I was very anxious at the time. I thought he would call me back the same day, you know, you offer somebody a kidney and they need one really bad, they call you and say, Hey, can you come over right now and give me your kidney? But it took about three weeks.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Anxiety was running high in both families. Was Ozzie worth the risk? What if Jeff backed out? Although Jeff and Ozzie had come to know each other, the two families had never met. Each family had questions. Each family had fears. Since their lives would be forever intertwined, they decided to share a meal together and just talk.

FD:

We got together for lunch or dinner, I believe, at a restaurant, and we just immediately, immediately felt at ease, as if we'd known one another for years. I just loved them.

REBA BACHS:

We just clicked so fast, I mean there was nothing, there was no barrier, there was nothing. It was just like we are just one family.

OZZIE BACHS:

When we met, it didn't look like we were strangers, although we come from different ethnic groups. We felt like we were same family. There was a great love as if we were perfect unity of mind. We were speaking the same language, you know, we had the same jokes and we're laughing the same laughs.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Just because the two families got along well, didn't mean Ozzie's body would accept Jeff's kidney. In fact, the odds against a perfect match were staggeringly high. To get such a match, a kidney donor nearly always has to be from the recipient's family. Jeff and Ozzie are not only from different families, Jeff is half Native American, and Ozzie's from Pakistan.

We'll find out what happened next in this remarkable story right after this.

[Break]

JEFFREY DAVIS:

We did a blood test, Ozzie and I, to find out if we matched. He had to have antibodies that didn't attack my blood.

M:

When it comes to living donors, they need to be compatible in the blood type, so if he's an "O," he needs an "O" kidney, and they also need to be compatible in that he doesn't have any antibodies against the donor's cells.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

I didn't know beforehand what the criteria were as far as being able to donate. When I offered him my kidney, I just knew that our blood types matched.

OZZIE BACHS:

And so we went in the next day, they took blood, and we waited for the results. And they got hold of Jeff first, and Jeff called me and he said, Oh, by the way, our blood matched.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Matching blood types was only the first step. Jeff now had to undergo extensive testing. Any hint of adverse medical conditions would bring the procedure to a halt, returning Ozzie to square one.

OZZIE BACHS:

The donors, they're some of the most healthy people, I can imagine, because they go through a very detailed evaluation from a medical standpoint. And so to be selected as a donor means that you're fairly healthy.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

It took four months to do all the tests, and so there were some tense moments where I would think, Well, maybe something's wrong and I can't do it, but for the most part I felt that this was all going to happen.

M:

The surgery itself is quite safe. The most common complications are mostly related to the pain or wound healing issues. But even that, that's very minor.

OZZIE BACHS:

My situation was a little more critical because I am a heart patient and the doctors were really not sure how I would, my body would behave on the operating table. There was a risk factor involved.

DWIGHT NELSON:

After months and months of testing, physicians and specialists at Loma Linda University Medical Center came to a final conclusion. The coordinator of the kidney transplant center made an excited phone call.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

When the hospital called, in fact they called in the evening after they found out the coordinator was so excited, that we were working with that me met. She called about six o'clock in the evening and my wife wanted to wait until I got home so she could tell me, and she told me what it was and it was just like, it was like party time because it was incredible, it was a go. It was good.

DWIGHT NELSON:

The day of surgery arrived. Their lives would be forever connected, regardless of the outcome. A mix of serenity and anxiety churned within the two families as they entered the hospital.

OZZIE BACHS:

As I saw Jeff, we were both very calm that day. I walked in and we went down in the operating room. I was still very calm. I was not nervous, and I counted one, two, and then I was gone.

REBA BACHS:

That day was a very blessed day. The surgery was very long, Jeff's three hours and Osmond six hours. Jeff's family was there and my family was there.

FD:

The only time that I really lost composure was when they wheeled him away. And my initial gut reaction was that I wanted Reba, you know, and I went straight to her and hugged her kind of for comfort and then, you know, realized that okay, we're going to be okay and we're going to get through this, but she and I really felt a strong bond.

REBA BACHS:

Even though, you know, we were praying, we were doing and we know that we have quite a bit of support, still there was kind of, you know, concern was there, because it was ten after six, fifteen after six, now six hours gone. We should, he should be coming out.

FD:

And I was getting to a point where time had passed and we were expecting that the surgery would be complete, so I guess it was a little anxious, and some family members just said, Come one, let's go pray.

F:

And we all gathered into the Chapel, and it was really an amazing experience. Everyone there, it was a really nice time of prayer, and almost immediately afterward, we found out that the surgery was successful.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

The next day, when they woke me up afterwards, right after the surgery, and I was still groggy from the anesthesia,so I really don't remember anything, but the next day, the first thing I remember asking was, How's Ozzie?

OZZIE BACHS:

Jeff was the first person who walked in, and he was so excited, him and Rebecca, that they wanted to come in and look at my face. And I still remember Rebecca said, Oh, I can see your eyes. And she said, Ozzie, your color has changed. It had changed overnight. Such a drastic change took place, just overnight.

Jeffrey Davis and Ozzie Bachs were strangers. Yet when Jeffrey found out that Ozzie needed a kidney to stay alive, he offered to donate one of his.

What would lead a man to offer a stranger a piece of himself?

JEFFREY DAVIS:

Before, my focus was on me and what I did, and everything was, me, me, me; my perspective, my viewpoint on everything.

REBECCA DAVIS:

He was the kind of person that got stress to people. Definitely, he was not giving life; he was, if anything, he was taking life.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

I needed something in my life. It was like I was missing something and I needed to know what it was. And I tried to find it in a lot of different ways. I drank heavily for most of my life. I just, you know, I would look for something to fill this hole and I could never fill it.

DWIGHT NELSON:

In an attempt to help Jeff fill that hole, his wife, Rebecca, a non-practicing Christian, urged a return to church. Jeff agreed to attend, at least physically.

REBECCA DAVIS:

My husband would go to church with me, you know, to support me. He thought it would be great for the kids, you know, all of that. There was a time or two we would argue, practically the whole way home from church, and it was so funny at that time, if Jeff sneezed, I wasn't allowed to say, Bless you. He didn't believe in that. I remember going to church, you know, during prayer he wouldn't close his eyes and bow his head, uh-uh. When I'd see him he'd still be looking around, and the music would be playing, no clapping, uh-uh, you know, he'd just stand there and just be real composed and together.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Jeff's life changed focus following a disturbing encounter with a parent's worst fear.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

I had a nightmare about my son dying. It was just this huge, long, seemed like it took hours and hours and weeks and weeks, long nightmare. It was dark, dreary, rainy, cold and people were chasing us, and finally at the end of this dream, my son's lying in the grass and he's dead, and I'm reaching out for him and I woke up out of this dream and I'm just crying and my emotions were at such a fever pitch I said, Jesus, if You're real, then prove it to me. The dream was so powerful that I would think about the dreams for weeks after that and every time I would think about it, a tear would start to form in my eyes. It was that powerful of a dream.

But as far as what I said, as far as Jesus if You're real, prove it to me, that just kind of went off to the side. And then when Rebecca started mentioning again that she wanted to start going to church, it didn't register with me consciously that I had said that,you know, Jesus if You're real, prove it to me, but when she mentioned that there was more of an inclination to go, but I didn't let her know I was more interested for myself to go.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Church life exposed Jeff to a book he had read as a child, yet never accepted. The Bible.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

There was a lot about the Bible that I didn't understand. I didn't understand that God could actually be and actually be a part of our lives. There was a group of people throughout time that knew God, and actually wrote down what God had to say.Here I was 45 years old and I missed it all of my life and it was right in front of my face.

REBECCA DAVIS:

You know, at one point he was studying the Bible so intensely that I remember telling him, Honey, you know, God hasn't blessed you with a flock of sheep to muddle on, you need to get up and he was just like 24-7.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

I used to look at God as a figment of people's imagination. I called it their crutch when things, when people couldn't' stand up to responsibility or things went bad, it was their own fault that they couldn't stand up, fans, they had to use God as a crutch. That was a figment of man's imagination. It went from that to I can't live without God. God created me, and there's not a step that I can take that I'm not here without the grace of God.

REBECCA DAVIS:

My husband was a totally different person before he became a Christian. The Jeff before would no more have given probably a piece of chewing gum to somebody, let alone something of this magnitude.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Jeffrey Davis gave a kidney to Ozzie Bachs. Has their friendship continued? What are their lives like now? Jeff and Ozzie will join me here on the stage right after this.

[Break]

DWIGHT NELSON:

Ozzie Bachs and Jeff Davis are the heroes of an incredible story. Ozzie I have to ask you this, with you and Jeff sitting together. As you have gone on from that day of surgery in April, and you're looking at this man, who gave up a part of himself in order for you to live, is there an awkwardness there that has affected your relationship?

OZZIE BACHS:

You mean my relationship with Jeff?

DWIGHT NELSON:

Your relationship with Jeff, I'm thinking.

OZZIE BACHS:

Um, I've never thought on those lines. That's a very difficult question to answer. All I can say is that God has worked a miracle in a sense, that he chose someone whom I did not know and God is a God of possibility. He takes an impossible situation and turns it into a great possibility. And I look at it very positively that God used Jeff as a last hope.

God does miracles.

Sometimes he does miracles that take place instantly. Well, in this case, He used Jeff indirectly. It took us a couple of months to get there, but it finally came and the miracle has taken place.

DWIGHT NELSON:

Jeff, it's only fair to flip the coin over. You, now, look into life of this man and into his face and realize that there's a part of you that's forever gone from you, into Ozzie. Any regrets?

JEFFREY DAVIS:

None at all. It's, to me it's like an honor. It's like how many people get a chance to run into a burning building and save a baby, or be a part of something. You know you live this ordinary life and you go about doing your job and your family, and it's just an ordinary life. And then one day you get an opportunity to be a part of something that's bigger than you, and bigger than anything you've ever done. And it's an amazing experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

DWIGHT NELSON:

And yet you, my friend, were not by nature a giving person.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

No, I wasn't.

DWIGHT NELSON:

I know your wife said, look, he wouldn't even gum to somebody, and now he's given his kidney. Explain that one.

JEFFREY DAVIS:

Yeah, my wife hit it right on the head. No, it wasn't my nature, and I think that's part of what God does in your heart, and in fact, I know it is. He changes your heart and He changes your perspective and the way you look at things, and He definitely changed that in me, because I wouldn't have done that. It wouldn't even have occurred to me.

JDWIGHT NELSON:

Jeff and Ozzie, what a moving story. I'm so grateful that you were willing to come and relive it, because you know what? It occurs to me in this culture, this twenty-first century culture, that is so me, me, me focused, to hear the story of two men, essentially strangers, who in an act of grace, an act of love, an act of hope, a gift, have radically transformed each other's lives. We need stories like that. We need to be the kind of people, Jeff, you were, and to be the kind of recipients, the gracious recipients as you have been, Ozzie.

JDWIGHT NELSON:

Jeff and Ozzie, what a moving story. I'm so grateful that you were willing to come and relive it, because you know what? It occurs to me in this culture, this twenty-first century culture, that is so me, me, me focused, to hear the story of two men, essentially strangers, who in an act of grace, an act of love, an act of hope, a gift, have radically transformed each other's lives. We need stories like that. We need to be the kind of people, Jeff, you were, and to be the kind of recipients, the gracious recipients as you have been, Ozzie.

Thank you both for being here. Delighted to have you. Ozzie and Jeff, God bless you.

JJEFFREY DAVIS:

Thanks for having us.

DWIGHT NELSON:

In fact, if you'd like more details of this truly remarkable story, check out our website at the addresses on the screen right now. Theevidence.tv. In a moment I'm going to be back with some concluding thoughts as we reflect on this incredible demonstration of human love.

[Break]

DWIGHT NELSON:

If you hadn't heard it here, you would have thought the story of Jeff and Ozzie was straight out of the movies, because Hollywood loves stories of fictional heroes. But this isn't fiction. Jeff Davis really did give this incredible gift. How do we explain something like this, something that goes so far beyond the common? Only by stepping out into another dimension. That of God's love and of His power to work on human hearts in a way that goes beyond reason. Only then can we begin to understand what we have just heard together.

I don't know what this says to you, but to me the story of Jeffrey and Ozzie is a story about God's power to work miracles. And the greatest miracle in this story isn't so much the incredible match against all odds of kidney tissue, but what had God had done in the heart of a new Christian such as Jeffrey. That was a change as great as the organ in Ozzie.

Truly as Pascal wrote centuries ago, the heart has reasons that reason can never know.

I suppose there can be other explanations than this other than God. It's just that I don't think they work. For The Evidence, this is Dwight Nelson.







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