Four-Way Kidney Swap

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[H/t to M.C.D. for bringing this heartwarming tale to my attention.]

This is from the NY Daily News:

One good Samaritan determined to donate a kidney to anyone who needed it set off a chain reaction that let four patients without a compatible organ donor get transplants.

The four-way kidney swap at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia is believed to be the largest performed in the city. The July 24, all-day endeavor involved nearly 50 clinicians working in eight operating rooms.

“It’s easily the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and also the easiest decision I ever made,” said Anthony DeGiulio, 32, the altruistic donor who got the idea from a TV program.

“It was a dream of mine to save someone’s life, and this is the only way I could come up with to do it,” explained DeGiulio, a securities trader from the Dutchess County town of Red Hook.

Here’s how it worked: Three area patients with kidney disease had family members who wanted to donate an organ to them but couldn’t because their blood types didn’t match.

DeGiulio was a match for one of those patients, Barbara Asofsky, a 57-year-old nursery school teacher from Wantagh, L.I. She got his kidney.

Asofsky’s husband, Douglas, 56, was a match for Alina Binder, a 22-year-old Brooklyn College student.

Binder’s dad, Michael, 46, was compatible with Andrew Novak, a 42-year-old telecommunications field technician from Poughkeepsie.

And Novak’s sister, Laura Nicholson, 40, was a suitable donor for a patient on the waiting list, Luther Johnson, 31, a hotel kitchen steward from Harlem.

None of them knew who their donor or recipient would be before the surgeries, but the donors didn’t have to think long about whether they’d give their kidney to a stranger. “I didn’t care who it would go to; I knew it would save a life – and save Barbara’s life,” said Douglas Asofsky, a bank veep.

[Image below from NY Daily News]

[read it all here]

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