updated 10/9/2007 4:08:29 PM ET 2007-10-09T20:08:29

When Jamie Howard knocked on Paul Sucher's door six months ago, he was trying to sell him a new vacuum cleaner. He ended up giving him one of his kidneys.

The chance encounter with Howard, a traveling salesman for the Kirby Co., led to transplant surgery in August. Now, the color is returning to Sucher's cheeks and he is recovering.

Sucher, 35, suffered kidney failure three years ago because of high blood pressure, forcing him to undergo dialysis.

When Howard came by on a sales call, he learned that Sucher couldn't afford a new vacuum cleaner because of the illness. He also learned Sucher had O-positive blood — the same as his.

"I went outside, prayed about it, called my dad and my wife," Howard remembers. "(Donation) was something I was called to do."

Howard, who is also 35, passed the tests required for potential donors. The operation was done at the University of Colorado hospital in Denver, where Sucher had been on the transplant waiting list.

Two months later, Sucher says he feels so good it is almost as if he never was ill: "It's truly a miracle."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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