CHICAGO (CBS) — Six individuals, all from different walks of life, are now linked by an act of kindness.
All are part of a living donor kidney exchange at Loyola University Medical Center and, as CBS 2’s Sandra Torres reports, the living donors met their kidney recipients for the first time on Wednesday.
“I felt like if I was donating I wanted to do the most amount of good,” said Terri Thede, who led the chain of organ donations, an act motivated by a Facebook post. “I was drawn in by a story about a little boy who lived in eastern Kentucky who desperately needed a kidney,” she said.
Inspired, Thede ended up donating one of her kidneys to William Parra, a man from Chicago whom she never met. “It felt like a way that I could connect with someone, or do something good for someone that didn’t need anything from me.”
Parra’s wife, Paula, paid it forward by donating one of her kidneys to 34-year-old Vitalii Stasiuk, who is from the Eukrane.
“I have a 34-year-old son,” Paula said. “I was just so touched to know that I donated to someone of such a young age and who should deserve a long life.”
To continue the chain, Stasiuk’s mother, Svitlana Gotska, donated one of her kidneys to Irene Zapata.
All six transplant procedures were done on the same day in August
“I was on the waiting list for three weeks, and my angel over here gave me her kidney, and my heart gave her kidney — it just rolled, and I am so grateful,” Parra said.
The average wait time for a deceased donor kidney in Illinois is 5 to 7 years. Almost 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list.