MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After giving from the heart, a group of kidney donors have gotten heartfelt thanks for what they did.
They were actually part of a “chain” of kidney transplants, five in all, stretching from Fargo to the Twin Cities.
At Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, those involved met for the first time Tuesday.
Thanks to the kidney she received, Priscilla DeShayes can now live a better life.
“I feel a lot better. I have more energy,” she said.
This Thanksgiving is far from the one she faced last year. Her kidneys were failing and she had been on dialysis for 13 months.
Long-time friend John Tracy saw the change and knew that he needed to help.
“I could really tell that it was taking a toll in a big way on her,” he said.
So as part of the “transplant chain,” he donated his kidney to someone so that DeShayes could get one from someone else.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said.
For several months following successful transplants, donors and recipients didn’t know each other.
Tuesday, DeShayes found out who helped her.
“Oh, Ann, my gosh, I had a million different ideas of what you’d looked like,” she said.
Ann Agrimson laughed and said, “I thought you would look like my twin.”
Both women believe it was meant to be.
“Thank you, Ann. I take a piece of me everywhere I go now,” said DeShayes.
“Good,” answered Agrimson.
Agrimson wasn’t just any match, she was a perfect one.
“I felt called to do it and I when I found out that she matched all six of my markers, it was like, ‘Oh, well that’s why I’m meant to do it.’ I was supposed to do it for her,” said Agrimson.
The two promised to keep in touch. Agrimson’s gift of life has been gratifying…
“I always knew it was going to come about at some time,” she said.
Strangers for years, the two women now consider themselves “sisters” for life.
The transplant chain all started with an anonymous kidney donor.