American Airlines gifts free flight for Army vet’s kidney donor


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FOX 46 Charlotte is helping get results for an Army veteran who needs a kidney and also the kidney donor. A unique problem was holding up Edmund Baines’ transplant. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina while his donor lives in California. 

American Airlines announced on Tuesday they plan to gift a flight to the kidney donor and her support person through the Gary Sinise Foundation that works with veterans. 

RelatedSocial media helps Army veteran find perfect kidney match

Baines: “You got a surprise for me?

Reporter: Of course

Baines: What is it?

Reporter: I just got off the phone with American Airlines and they are going to gift a flight to Annette and to her support person to come give you the kidney.

Baines: Aww thank you

Reporter: We did it.

Baines: I told you channel 46 you’re the best.  

A perfect match thousands of miles away wouldn’t discourage Edmund Baines. He asked how to set up a GoFundMe to raise money to fly the donor to Charlotte but FOX 46 got to work. 

“Yeah, you said you’d figure it out,” Baines said. 

Next FOX 46 called Annette Clark, the donor. 

“I’m grateful that you called. That really did make me happy and I’m happy that I can do this for Edmund,” she said. 

Baines has been getting calls through the night. A fellow vet offered to fly him to California to get the transplant. A woman from Gastonia offered her kidney if Annette’s was too far away.

“That’s one thing I can’t say, I’m not in this alone because I don’t feel like I’m in this alone because people are reaching out to help me from all over. I don’t know where they’re from or anything,” Baines said. 

RelatedVeteran in search of kidney donor says, “I’m not giving up, I never will’

To America Airlines…

“I want to say thank you because they didn’t have to,” Baines said. 

To his fellow veterans…

“Everybody that had called me in the beginning they said they are veterans. They said veterans, we don’t have nobody but each other so they said you are considered family no matter what color you are, where you live, or whatever. They said as as long you are veterans we will look out for each other,” Baines said. 

To everyone…

“To be honest with you, I didn’t think there was that kind of people in the world anymore, I didn’t. I had a lot to learn myself about people and you know, I guess it’s not too late for nobody, no matter how old you are to learn the difference in people,” he said. 

To FOX 46 Charlotte…

“FOX46 gets results,” Baines said. 

On Tuesday, FOX 46 learned someone stole Baines’s sign – the sign that started it all – off his truck. Baines said he will continue to stay in high spirits. He said they can have his sign, all he wants is a kidney. 

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