7 kidney donors, 7 recipients, 6 hospitals, 3 cities. What could possibly go wrong?

The Sydney Morning Herald | Jane Cadzow

Medical ingenuity and the kindness of a stranger brought together 14 people in a life-changing event.

Australian doctors recently performed the country's biggest ever kidney exchange program.

The way Paul Bannan tells it, the whole thing was serendipitous. His intention was merely to do a favour for a friend. Instead, he triggered the largest exchange of organs in Australian medical history. "I just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right body part," he says.

Bannan is a 54-year-old tradesman from the Victorian town of Yea, 100km north-east of Melbourne. A few years ago, a friend needed a kidney. Bannan offered him one. "That's what mates do," he shrugs, pointing out his GP was less impressed by his plan to give away an organ than by the steps he took to qualify as a donor: "He said, 'If I'd known this was all it would take for you to give up smoking, watch your cholesterol, cut out sugar and start exercising, I would have cut it out of you years ago.' " Continue reading