Waiting for a kidney transplant can take months, even years. But every once in a while that perfect match – or three -- comes along.
University Hospital and Primary Children’s came together for a six-way kidney transplant last week.
As if that wasn’t incredible enough, one man had never met any of the families before.
Three people were in kidney failure and in need of a transplant, fast. Including two year-old Beckham, who was born with kidney problems.
Two people, a father and a friend were will to go under the knife the save their loved one.
The problem was, neither matched.
Turns out, they were both matches – just not for the person they thought.
One link was missing – an unbelievable good Samaritan.
“For about 15 years I had been considering doing this,” said Ted Bartling. “I came to the conclusion, I had taken enough in life from others, it was time for me to give something back. A little bigger than what I had been giving back.”
Bartling went to the hospital, hoping to give a kidney to a total stranger. He had no idea he would complete a six-way chain.
Three donors, three recipients. Three transplants in two days.
“It has absolutely achieved everything,” said Bartling. “Even much more than I'd ever hoped.”
“From being so discouraged that it didn't work initially,” said Kristy Buffington, a donor. “Then to be involved in this chain, and have a baby be involved.”
“[Thanks to] Kristy’s kidney he's going to have a long life,” said Hayley Fershtut.
All of the surgeries were successful and recovery will take about two months.
Giving 3 people a new shot at life, and six people a new family.