Man restores car for wife’s kidney donor

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Though Sandi Elder knows better, she has an occasional nickname for her husband: She calls him “Stoic ‘Ole Willie.”

You might not ever get to see the Tootsie Roll under that hard exterior, unless you mention Layne Pachl, the 20-year-old who saved Sandi’s life.

Then Willie starts crying.

That’s why, for many days in the past year, Willie got up early, sometimes at 3 a.m., to work on the 1965 Mustang.

A month after Layne donated a kidney to save Sandi from a genetic condition that had her on dialysis, Willie found the Mustang. He spent 10 hours per week replacing the wheels and the steering wheel and the red and white upholstery, detailed with horses galloping across the seats. Willie picked the Mustang not only because it’s a cool car and it’s easy to find parts. Layne has horses on her parents’ rural property.

Layne cried “hysterically,” as she put it, upon receiving the car. She plans to use it the way Willie intended, as a fun way to go somewhere for a weekend.

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