MULBERRY (KFSM) -- The community is coming together for a firefighter who needs a kidney transplant. So far, they have exceeded their fundraising goal by more than $7,000.
“I've helped a lot of people in this town and they repaid it this weekend,” said Capt. Kevin Carty.
Carty has been a firefighter for more than three decades. His life changed after a massive heart attack in 2012. An artery replacement damaged his kidneys.
“I’ve been on dialysis about a year and a half,” he said.
Until Carty gets a kidney transplant, he has to get his blood cleaned every other day.
“He tries to power through it,” Fire Chief Jeff Marvin said. “He's been very sick at times. There's been days where we spent six or eight days and nights at the hospital.”
On March 10, hundreds came together to help Carty. They raised more than $17,000. The money will allow him to pay for the transplant.
“It was super,” Marvin said. “We wanted to raise at least $10,000. We knew that was the minimum he needed, and we were hoping to raise more, but $10,000 was our spot that we were shooting for.”
Carty added, “I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe it.”
And it’s the little things making a big difference. A resident named Sadat Rice is selling T-shirts for Kevin’s cause. So far, Rice has raised around $650. A restaurant called Mulberry Dairy Dip had a milkshake day for Kevin. Half the proceeds from milkshakes sold went to the kidney fund.
“I'd like to thank the citizens of Mulberry and surrounding areas for what they've done for me,” he said.
Eight people in Mulberry are willing to donate a kidney if they are a match.
Mayor Gary Baxter proclaimed March 10 Kevin Carty Day. Carty said the extra money raised will help pay for his potential donors’ travel expenses to Tulsa.
There is an account set up at Bank of the Ozarks where people can donate to the account Kidney for Kevin.