PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — A chance encounter, brought two Plant City families together, and it helped save a woman’s life.

“We were actually having breakfast at a café in Plant City and Sha’Caria’s mom’s car was parked out front saying on the windows that her daughter needed a kidney that was O+,” Caren Tran said.

Sha’Caria Little was born with a condition that has caused health complications throughout her life.

“Back in 2000 I had two liver transplants,” Little said. “So as time went on I had to take anti-rejection medicine and things like that. So as I’m taking those medications, it damaged my kidneys over time.”

She waited years for a new kidney, spending her days on dialysis.

Family members posted on their cars to find a match, and it worked.

In 2020, she received life-changing news.

“My mom came home and told me about Caren, and how she was interested and everything. I was really excited,” Little said.

Tran saw the message written on the window and immediately offered to donate her kidney. She went through the testing, but wasn’t a match.

“She called me crying because she couldn’t help her,” Caren’s husband Cao Tran said, who then offered to donate his kidney.

Cao was also not a match, but they discovered another way to help called “paired donation.”

Paired donation allowed Cao to donate his kidney to someone else, in exchange for a kidney for Sha’Caria.

It took more than two years for them to find a perfect match.

In April Sha’Caria underwent a successful kidney transplant at Tampa General Hospital. Somewhere else in the country, someone received Cao’s kidney.

“He could have backed out at any given time, any given time, you know?” Little said. “Some people find out they’re not a match, and usually say ok well good luck.”

Little and her mom believe it was divine intervention.

“God put them there,” Little’s mother Sharon Broom said.

The life-saving gift turned these strangers into family. On Saturday they plan to throw a party to celebrate.

“It’s great to feel that you helped somebody,” Tran said.

“I’m just very grateful. Really grateful,” Little said said.

They hope their story helps spread the word about paired donation, and encourages others to look into it as well.

If you are interested in becoming a donor, contact TGH at 855-653-2237.