JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Houston Foster needs a kidney transplant, and who is the person stepping up to help him out?
His uncle, Charles Jackson, who recently was exonerated after serving 27 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
“In 1991, I was arrested, locked up and charged with murder and attempted murder, convicted, and sentenced to 30 years to life.” Jackson said.
Foster kept in touch with him regularly throughout his sentence.
“I feel like I did the time with him,” Foster said.
He prayed for his uncle, while also praying that he would find a kidney donor.
“I did 27 years before the Ohio innocence project came in and found police records that didn’t supposedly exist.” Jackson said. “They found out that people were lying, and it was basically just orchestrated.”
Jackson was released from prison on Nov. 27, 2018, after The Innocence Project proved that there was not enough evidence against him, and that the original witness never actually saw him commit a crime.
He was told he would face a new trial. The first thing he wanted to do was find out his blood type.
“For him to come out after 27 years and say, ‘I’m O positive and I’m a match.’ I was like, 'Oh thank you, Jesus,” Foster said, smiling.
Jackson flew down to Jacksonville on Sept. 14, 12 days after hearing that he was officially exonerated, all charges were dropped and he would not be facing another trial. Just a week ago, he began testing for the kidney transplant.
“I took stress test blood tests and more blood tests.” Jackson said. “My heart was checked, and everything else is monitor just to see if I could live with one kidney--- and I found that I can.”
The two were close before, but after this surgery, they’ll be even closer. Their family calls them Batman and Robin. The two joked that Jackson has always been Batman, because he’s older and bigger.
Now the duo is taking on the next hurdle in life — kidney transplant surgery.
“I’m like a miracle.” Jackson said.
“You’re my miracle,” Foster responded.
The surgery is expected to take place at the Mayo Clinic. The date is still up in the air, pending some tests and a consult in November. The surgery will be covered by insurance. But, anti-rejection medication can be expensive, and it isn’t covered entirely by insurance. Foster has also been on part-time disability and bills are piling up.
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