BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Friday was a first time meeting like none other for six Marylanders. Three kidney transplant recipients met their three donors.
Andrea Fujii shares their amazing story from the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Three lives are saved from three strangers, and they are meeting for the first time.
“That’s just unbelievable that someone would do that,” said John Becker, one of the three kidney recipients.
One-third of donors and recipients are incompatible, so the Paired Kidney Exchange Program matches the donors with someone else.
Paul McSorley needed a kidney and his twin, Joy Hindle, offered hers. They were not matches, so Joy’s kidney went to John Becker, whose wife was his intended donor. His wife’s non-matching kidney went to Mae Opie, whose friend Jesse Epperley had offered his kidney to, which instead went to Paul McSorley.
“There’s three families that have been touched because of three people willing to donate,” said Epperley, kidney donor.
All six surgeries occured June 15 laproscopically at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“She said my kidney’s working well and I said, ‘Awesome,’” said Karen Becker, one of the kidney donors.
Three weeks later, they’re meeting their matches and are now life-long friends.
“When we met there was just like a kindred spirit. There was just something unified,” said Mae Opie, who received Karen Becker’s kidney.
Right now, nearly 2,000 Marylanders are waiting for kidney transplants.