CLEVELAND, Tenn. – When Rob Smitty (search) returned home after donating a kidney to a stranger, he talked about hoping "my children can be proud and look up and say, `My dad did this."'
But his 10-year-old daughter, Amber, was not impressed. She said her father never comes to see her and never calls, not even on her birthday.
Smitty, a 32-year-old meat salesman, was also about $8,000 behind on child support payments (search) to Amber's mother. Shortly after his October kidney operation, he was arrested for not paying child support and spent five days in jail.
Smitty was releaspressed with what Smitty has done," said his lawyer, Bill Speek.
Although Smitty has maintained he did not profit from donating his kidney to a man he met on the Internet, some have questioned the morality of using the donations to pay off his child support.
"Is helping someone get caught up on back child support payments going a little bit over the top? It's different from making up lost wages," said Dr. Mark Fox, chairman of the United Network for Organ Sharing (search) ethics committee.
However, Smitty maintained he acted altruistically.
"When you have an opportunity to save a human life in your hands, it seems like everything else becomes trivial," he said. "I just had this mission to accomplish and I did what I had to do to achieve it."
His daughter is not yet convinced, saying she doesn't "think he is much of a hero."
"I think it's fine that people give people organs that need it," Amber said. "We just want our child support."