Friday, April 23, 2010

More on kidney donation and social networking

It continues to look like social networking may become big for kidney donation. Here's a recent story from New England: Conn. mayor donates kidney to Facebook friend

"Sanchez, a 44-year-old father whose kidneys were failing because of diabetes, sent out the request on Facebook only hesitantly and on his doctor's suggestion. He worried people might pity him -- and certainly hadn't pinned his hopes on finding a donor that way.
He didn't have long to wait. Capone Almon was the first person to respond.
"I sent him a private message and just said, 'Hey, I'll try. I'll get tested,'" Capone Almon said Wednesday. "I really felt from the very beginning that I was going to be a match and a donor. I don't know why, but I just knew it."
Sanchez had no such certainty.
"I thought she was joking. The mayor of East Haven would offer me her kidney?" said Sanchez, an office administrator. "She responded back and said, 'I am serious, I am willing to get tested.'"
"Capone Almon, a Democrat, was running for a second term as mayor at the time but kept the details of her medical plans a secret. She won the election as they awaited word on when she could donate the kidney, saying they grew as close as family during the lull.
"I know he voted for me, too," she joked.
The operation was set only after Capone Almon passed a battery of tests and was given a long explanation of the process, which involved three small incisions near her ribcage and a scar similar to that of a cesarean section.
"What the doctors said to me is, 'Your recipient is already sick and we're not going to make you sick to make him somewhat better,'" she said. "They do not compromise the donor's health in any way, shape or form."
Their tenuous connection was cemented into a lasting bond April 8, when doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital removed Capone Almon's left kidney and transplanted it into Sanchez.
They were released from the hospital in less than a week and are expected to make full recoveries. His insurance paid for both their surgeries, and the mayor is back on the job in this middle-class city of about 30,000."

HT: Alexander Ruiz

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