One of the mottos of the Navy SEALs is “the only easy day was yesterday.” Retired SEAL Jeff Bramstedt, a 13-year veteran of the teams, has clearly taken the quote to heart.
Bramstedt, who owns Skydive San Diego, saw a plea on Facebook from the relative of a friend in Colorado who had a life-threatening disease and required a liver transplant.
"I stopped many years ago living my life for me and constantly looking for a way I can be a blessing for someone else, a miracle for someone else and this seemed to fit that really well,” he told NBC 7.
Earlier in December Bramstedt flew to Aurora, Colorado to meet Melinda Ray, a mother of three, with whom he had no connection beyond the Facebook post.
During a 10-hour surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital, doctors removed 30 percent of his liver and transplanted it inside Ray.
"I love her with everything I have, we share an organ at this point, so it's kind of the closest thing you can have to a blood sister,” Bramstedt explained. “I'd do anything for her, I'd do anything for that family. We've become really close over the past few weeks."
Doctors expect both of their livers to regenerate into fully functioning organs.
Bramstedt hopes his story inspires others to consider giving of themselves in this extraordinary way.