On Wednesday, we announced our first “kidney donor chain,” and patients in the the chain learned who their respective donors/recipients were.
Kidney donor chains, also called kidney paired exchanges, occur when a living kidney donor is incompatible with their intended recipient. The donor may agree to donate their kidney to a different patient, provided that their loved one receives a kidney from someone else.
When multiple pairs are involved, this causes a domino effect, with each recipient receiving a matched kidney from a stranger. That’s what happened here at UK HealthCare in June.
Eight surgeries were performed within 48 hours and four people were given their lives back.
Check out our infographic to see how it all worked.
The chain was initiated by one altruistic donor who was willing to give her kidney to anyone who needed it: Nicki Coulter, a former nurse from Bloomfield, Ky.
“I used to be a nurse, and I just felt like this was something I needed to do,” Coulter said. “I was blessed with good health and a good support system in my family. So I decided to do it!”
“I thought, ‘Why wait till I die?’ I can save someone’s life today” — altruistic donor Nicki Coulter. #DonateLife
— UK_HealthCare (@UK_HealthCare) September 23, 2015