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Oddly Enough

Kidney transplant chain saves five lives

Friday, August 03, 2012 - 02:06

Aug. 3 - (WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT) A North Carolina woman inspires a chain of kidney donations by giving her own organ at a New York hospital. Kilmeny Duchardt reports.

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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL Honica Brittman decided to donate a kidney to save a stranger's life, but she had no idea she'd end up saving five. (SOUNDBITE) Honica Brittman, North Carolina resident, saying: "To actually help somebody that they get to live a little bit longer, well live a lot longer, instead of you know, waiting and waiting, that's an awesome gift." Her selfless act triggered what doctors call a kidney transplant chain. This chain involved 10 people -- one of them Adam Abernathy. With his kidneys functioning at just five percent he was in urgent need of a transplant. At New York-Presbyterian/Columbia he prepared for surgery, alongside his partner David Ferguson, who also took part in the transplant chain. Ferguson is a universal match, but decided to continue the thread and help a stranger in need. (SOUNDBITE) David Ferguson, kidney donor, saying (English): "You know, there was some leaning toward, you know, me just giving my kidney to Adam, just for sentimental reasons, but when we thought about somebody else needing a kidney and us possibly being in that same position, we couldn't not." (SOUNDBITE) Adam Abernathy, patient needing kidney, saying (English): "Even though I'm not getting his actual kidney, he's really saving my life, so I'm hyper aware of that." But they've not only been preparing for surgery, they've also been planning a wedding. (SOUNDBITE) Adam Abernathy, patient needing kidney, saying (English): "It will all be done and hopefully both of us will be incredibly strong and recuperated by the time we have to stand up at the alter, so that will be great." Two surgical teams worked simultaneously to make the transfer. In the end, ten strangers were brought together -- five donating the kidneys and five receiving. And it all happened under one shared philosophy: "pay it forward". Kilmeny Duchardt, Reuters.

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Kidney transplant chain saves five lives

Friday, August 03, 2012 - 02:06