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With all the accolades and the record-breaking moments quarterback Darrien Fields ’19 had during his senior football season, he knew something even bigger was in store for him once he hung up his jersey for good.

“Heading into my senior season, I had already made up my mind,” says Darrien, who, a year ago that same weekend, threw for five touchdowns during the 63-21 victory against Wilmington and was crowned Homecoming King.

That decision? He was giving his uncle, John Fields, one of his kidneys.

“Some people call me strong and say that must have been a tough decision, but the strength you see — that’s a reflection of the people around me; and as for the decision, it was an easy decision for me to make. My whole family got tested, but deep down I knew I would be the one who was going to do it.”

A man of faith, Darrien reached out to ask for prayers before his surgery, which was four weeks before this year’s Homecoming. DeAnna DeForest ’08 was quick to respond.

“I had met her last year during Homecoming and I felt she cared about me; I felt a genuine love from her,” Darrien says.

DeAnna had wanted to donate one of her kidneys to her aunt, who passed away in August, but she wasn’t a match.

“So seeing someone so young being a donor touched me,” she says. “He asked for prayers, but that the procedure was bigger than him. I have been praying for him ever since. … He’s an inspiration to me.”

Four weeks after Darrien’s successful transplant surgery, the All-OAC quarterback was back on the Pioneers sidelines cheering on his former teammates and passing on his Homecoming crown during halftime.

“He went from the ‘King of the Court’ to hero in my eyes,” DeAnna says.