Jocelynn James found herself living a life of crime. Between 2007 and 2012, she fell into a dark place and was arrested on theft and drug charges sixteen times in that five-year span of time. This meant that she had a lot of run-ins with the local police and knew what it was like to live behind bars. Every one of James’s criminal issues stemmed from the fact that she was an opioid addict.
After getting hooked on the pain killer, she would do anything to get her hands on her next fix. This led her to a life of crime that put her life on the line as well as other people in her inner circle. Throughout her drug-fueled years, she had many interactions with Police Officer Terrell Potter, the very man who eventually got her locked up for some hard time.
Unlike most ex-cons, James was able to find some peace in prison. She used her time behind bars to rehabilitate herself and to come out of prison a better person. By getting her life in order, she was able to even find some downtime to scroll through Facebook and check up on her friends and followers.
It was during one of these Facebook scrolls that James saw a name that she recognized – it was Officer Terrell Potter. In his post, the cop pleaded with his Facebook friends to help him find a kidney donor. Since his kidney was in bad shape, his only hope for a healthy future was to get it replaced, and that meant he needed to find a generous soul to donate their kidney.
While the sight of Officer Potter’s face might have sent any other ex-con into a tailspin, James (a born again Christian) saw it as a sign from God.
“The Holy Spirit told me right then that I had that man’s kidney,” she said to the reporters at WVTM-TV.
When Potter learned that Jocelynn James – the woman he sent to prison – wanted to give him her kidney, he would not have believed it in a million years. Potter even went so far as to say that it was just “unbelievable that she was willing to do that.”
After beating her opioid addiction, James found a non-profit that helps other women overcome their addictions. She didn’t waste any time. She got checked and found out she was a match to donate her kidney to Potter. Then in July, she went to the Potter at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville and gave it away to the man who got her locked away for years.
Potter is humbled that James gave him her kidney.
“It’s very humbling to have somebody would give you a part of their body to extend your life.”
Potter knows that a power greater than both of them reunited him with the ex-con. Because it was his hard fist of justice that ultimately led her to her salvation, donating her kidney was her chance to do something good.
“It’s just God,” Potter said. “There’s no other way.”
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