DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Brandon Vance served three tours of duty in Iraq, only to end up in a hospital bed back home in Dallas.

The 27-year-old is recovering after surgery this week at Medical City Dallas Hospital.

Surgeons went to work not to repair something, but to remove something.  Vance made the decision to donate one of his kidneys.

It didn’t go to a family member or even a friend.  It went to a complete stranger, who now owes her life to him.

“Brandon is not normal,” said Gail Moten from her hospital bed Friday. “I don’t know where he’s from.”

Moten is still under observation, but for the first time in years she has no plans to get kidney dialysis this week.

Her new kidney is the culmination of an 11-month journey that started with a random radio interview last August.

Moten happened to end up in the middle of a bit for the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning radio show when she mentioned on the air she needed a new kidney.

Vance was listening on his way to work, and pulled over and made an instant decision to donate his.  “Yeah my mind was made up the second I made that phone call,” he said.

Moten tried to talk him out of the offer, and Vance said he had to convince family members too.  They were set to go in December but the original hospital decided against the donation.

The pair kept working until Medical Center Dallas agreed to perform the procedure Wednesday.  “God has his hand all over that child,” Moten said. “Angels are surrounding him.”

“She calls me a part of her family, which means a lot. I guess I’m a part of her too now, you know?” says Vance.

Vance is expected to be out of the hospital Saturday, and Moten should be released next week.

Vance, a U.S. Army Sergeant, said the military allowed him to skip a scheduled deployment to Afghanistan to complete the surgery.