Would you donate your kidney to a stranger?
Donors give a kidney to strangers in paired, pooled, and chain kidney transplants
Organising life around sessions of dialysis that last six hours can make the wait for a kidney donation seem an eternity. The burden of dialysis twice a day over many years and crippling gout were taking their toll on 57 year old Roma Horrell. But when Peter, Roma’s husband, offered to donate his kidney to her they were found to be ABO blood group incompatible, and a long wait for a matching kidney from a dead donor seemed the only option. But Roma and Peter were not alone. Through a new organ transplant matching programme Roma found that she was compatible with a woman in Scotland (box 1). The new donor had been unable to donate to her husband, but the matching programme also found that he and Peter matched too. So in April 2007 the couples underwent the first paired kidney exchange in the United Kingdom.2
Almost 500 kilometres