The Grapevine

Ohio Man Undergoes Successful Kidney Transplant After Organ Donor Replies To Message On SUV

Raisman
Raisman and his wife Aileen in front of the car that helped get him a kidney. Pixabay Public Domain

As some patients know all too well, the waiting list for an organ transplant can be hundreds of people long. This means that several patients don't get the organs they need in time, which is why Neal Raisman, 68, decided to take matters into his own hands. Neither he nor his family was willing to leave his kidney donation up to chance.

Raisman spent seven years fighting his kidney disease, including a year of dialysis, The Columbus Dispatch reported Raisman. When none of it worked, Raisman and his doctors looked to kidney transplantation. To fast-track that process, Raisman’s daughter Shana used bright yellow tape to spell out “Got Kidney? I need 1. Please call or text” on the rear window of her dad's SUV.  She received hundreds of calls, most of which were pranksters or people asking to complete illegal sorts of trades for a kidney. While some calls were well-meaning, none resulted in a match. Or at least that's what the family thought.

One woman living in central Ohio saw Shana's sign, twice, and she decided that second time was a sign she was meant to help. After she called her doctor and cleared all the tests required of organ donors, the woman's doctor declared she was a match for Raisman. And this past Friday, Raisman got her kidney.

According to the Dispatch, the average wait time for an organ from a deceased donor is nearly three years at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where Raisman underwent the transplant. The wait time for a living donor is about five months, and these are the kidneys that offer the best chance of success. Just ask Raisman.

“It was a perfect kidney,” said Raisman’s surgeon, Dr. Amer Rajab. “No complications. It was everything I had hoped.”

Raisman's donor wanted to remain anonymous to avoid praise, the Dispatch reported. She told the family it would only make her uncomfortable. But she did stop into Raisman's recovery room to say hello, and as you can imagine, there were plenty of hugs and tears.

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