WTOP | Paula Wolfson
|Here, Abdullah Al Ahmari embraces at James DiNatale, his kidney donor. (Courtesy George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences)|
WASHINGTON — They were strangers until their common battle with late-stage kidney disease unexpectedly brought them together in a rare three-way organ exchange.
“He is my brother now,” says Abdullah Al Ahmari, as he looks for the first time at James DiNatale, his kidney donor.
They met at a conference room at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where doctors, dignitaries and patients gathered to launch the Ron and Joy Paul Kidney Center. The center will take on the growing kidney disease crisis in the D.C. metropolitan area.
Standing at Al Almari’s side in matching George Washington sweatshirts, DiNatale explained his initial plan was to donate a kidney to his wife, Carol Miller.
“We found out we weren’t going to be a match and that is when the wheels started turning for this swap,” he says.
A computer sorted through blood data on those needing transplants and loved ones who were willing to donate. Through that process, Miller found her perfect match — a young man named Jordan Gray who was in the registry to help his mom. Continue reading