Utah transplant nurse donates kidney to stranger

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A University of Utah transplant nurse is celebrating a special donation of her own.

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The nurse from Layton was the patient this time, after she donated a kidney to a complete stranger a year ago.

“I had a goal to donate my kidney before I turned 50,” Heidi Shaw, a nurse at the University of Utah Health Transplant Center tells ABC4.

But this nurse-turned organ donor took an interesting path to donation.

Shaw was on vacation when she discovered a man, who she had never met before, needed a kidney.

“We had started vacationing with him and his wife and going out and playing cards together,” Shaw explains.

The transplant nurse showed her kind heart and agreed to donate her kidney to the man.

However, the plan hit a roadblock when she discovered she was not a match for her new friend.

“It took a little bit of time because we had to find a match both for him and for me and we ended up being a part of an eight-person chain.”

Shaw later met her goal at the University of Utah hospital, becoming a part of the eight-person donation chain.

The other people involved in the donation chain opted to stay anonymous.

While she’s grateful she helped those involved, she says it was bigger than just her group.

“The biggest thing about living donation is that it also helps the person that is next on the waiting list.”

Shaw hopes her example will help motivate others to do what they can and give the gift of life.

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