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Six Kidney Transplant Patients Meet Their Donors for First Time

CHICAGO, Ill - In what’s being called a “swapportunity,” a rare 12-person kidney exchange at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has proved to be a success.

The exchange took months of careful planning and dozens of people coordinating what doctors call "a swapportunity."

The surgeries happened over three days last week, according to WGN.

Scott Rial received a kidney from Daisy Ruiz. Ruiz wanted to donate to her Aunt Clotilde, but wasn't a match. However, Clotilde was a match with Philip Cameli.

Cameli wasn't a match for his friend Brendan Flaherty. But, Brendan was a match with Kimberly Cooper.

Cooper was the Good Samaritan who started it all when she decided on her own to donate a kidney.

"Just to know that I was going to change my life but really change someone else's life," she said.

"Thank you so much for giving me a life. Giving me a future," Flaherty said.

This was Flaherty's second kidney transplant. At 21, he's spent much of his life on dialysis.

"I don't know what else to say but 'Thank you.' I'm so grateful to her," he said.

The donors and recipients were a little tired during the meeting Wednesday, but they were looking forward to getting to know each other.

Cooper says she hopes this will encourage more people to become living donors. There are currently about 100,000 people on the national waiting list for a kidney transplant.

1 Comment

  • Thomas Daniels

    I just wanted to share this really quick. When i was a kid my grandmother, who was a nurse, use to tell me all the time that i was very special and unique and that the world needs me..I never thought much of it. Fast forward to highschool, im 17, and i donate blood for the first time. A few weeks later i start getting stuff in the mail constantly from the red cross so i call them up. I never realized that im O- and even then i really didnt comprehend the signifigance of it. Since then, i donate blood religiously and have also donated bone marrow. People sometime dont realize that we are all born with a hero gene. Some of us are doctors, some of us are police officers and firefighters, and people like me are here so that maybe,even if only once, i am here to give the gift of life back to someone who deserves that second chance. I know that sounds korny but i wanted to share that. When you take away titles are political groupings, we are human beings first

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