A nurse offered to donate her own kidney to a 23-year-old patient. Allison Batson spent two years on the transplant floor of Emory University Hospital before her encounter with Clay Taber, a recent Auburn University graduate who fell sick one day after his 22nd birthday. He was diagnosed with kidney failure. The Auburn University graduate was diagnosed with Goodpasture's syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that can result in severe damage to the kidneys and lungs.
Although she wasn't his primary nurse, Batson felt an instant connection with the college grad. “It really touched my heart because I have children that are his age,” said Batson. “We really connected.” It was determined that Taber's mother and others in his family couldn't qualify to donate their organs. Batson offered him her kidney if it was a match, since she had the same O-negative blood type. The transplant operation took place on January 10th. Both patients are now recovering and preparing to go home.
“People have asked me why I would do this for a stranger, or what if I had a family member in need one day, or why would I risk my own life or health for someone I barely know,” she said in the release. “My answer is because I can. Sure, I have children who might possibly be in need one day, but here was this young man right in front of me who needs help - today, and I am in a position to help him--today.” She added that she hopes her story will make others aware of living donations.
Living kidney donations have generally been on the rise in recent years. The Organ Procurement and Transplant Network reported 4,721 live kidney donations in 1999 in the U.S., and 6,277 in 2010. There are currently 90,519 people on a waiting list for a kidney.