Anonymous Kidney Donations Create Huge, Rare Donation Chain That Connects Them All in Remarkable Way

NBC CHICAGO | Jonathan Sadowski

A group of friends, family members and a Good Samaritan were part of a giant, 12-person kidney donation chain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital that brings them together Wednesday to meet in Chicago for the first time.

The rare donation chain was a result of six people donating kidneys to six recipients (see chart below). The donors did not know who their kidneys were going to, but the transplants miraculously wove a web connecting all 12 people, according to Northwestern Medicine.

The result? "Kidney transplant surgeries in a rare organ-transplant chain from living donors that resulted in healthy kidneys going to six sick people," the hospital said in a statement.

It all started with Brendan Flaherty, 21, who was diagnosed in 1998 with the kidney-affecting Denys-Drash Syndrome. Flaherty received a transplant from Kimberly Cooper, 44, who was a non-directed donor and the Good Samaritan in the chain. Continue reading

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