updated 6/20/2007 1:31:46 PM ET 2007-06-20T17:31:46

MORGANTON, N.C. — When doctors told Lisa White she needed a kidney transplant to stay alive, she never expected her boss to sign up as a donor.

Chris Jernigan, the director of Southmountain Children and Family Services in Nebo, said he had watched White, his friend and colleague of more than 11 years, struggle to come into work.

The decision to donate a kidney to his office assistant was easy, he said. The surgery went well, and White was back at work Wednesday.

“I care very much about every employee and want to do everything I can to make it a better work place and to make their lives better,” Jernigan, of Morganton, said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “This was just one more thing that I was able to do to help out a good friend and an employee.”

Hopes gift will inspire
White has polycystic kidney disease — a potentially deadly, genetic disease that causes cysts to form on the kidneys. She hopes her boss’ generosity will inspire others to donate organs.

“I just hope that there is more people who will see this and come forward and become donors because it’s a wonderful thing that he has done for me,” White said. “I feel the best I’ve felt in a really long time.”

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