February 27, 2008

Positivity: Girl Gets Kidney From Stranger

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Atlanta:

The picture of the smiling little girl on the flier was more than Laura Bolan could take. The 8-year-old on the pamphlet needed a kidney transplant, and Bolan knew she could help.

She did a quick Web search on the surgery and talked it over with her husband. Then she made a phone call to offer one of her kidneys to Sarah Dickman.

The suburban Atlanta girl was born with the genetic disease juvenile nephronophthisis, which slowly destroys the kidneys. Without treatment, it can kill a child before the age of 15.

Bolan, 34, had never met Sarah when she agreed to donate the organ.

“It breaks your heart to know there’s a little girl sick out there who you could help,” Bolan said earlier this week.

The pair underwent successful surgeries Thursday at hospitals across the street from each other in Atlanta. Surgeon Dr. Thomas Pearson said both patients were doing well on Friday, and initial tests of Sarah’s new kidney showed it was working normally.

Sarah was expected to be in intensive care for at least a day and then spend up to a week at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. She said she was looking forward to being free from a dialysis machine so she can spend the night at her best friend’s house.

And when doctors remove her catheter, she can take bubble baths again because there will no longer be the risk of infecting the skin around the tube.

Best of all, she can go to Kangaroo Bob’s, a children’s recreation center with inflatable slides, mazes and obstacle courses.

“I’ll get to go there on my birthday because I won’t have this anymore,” she said, pointing to the catheter.

Bolan was expected to return home after a few days at Emory University Hospital. She first saw a flier about Sarah in September at the elementary school where two of her children are students. Sarah attends the same school.

Bolan knew she had the same blood type as the little girl, so she called the number on the flier that evening.

Go here for the rest of the story.

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