Organ donation is a great gesture. After all, what could be a greater help than giving someone a new lease of life. But there are cases of organ transplant that have weird stories attached to them. While some are heart-felt, some too difficult to believe, and some that will creep you out, each one of them is equally interesting.
Here are 10 organ transplant stories that are unbelievably true:
1. This man demanded his cheating wife to return his kidney
Richard Batista, a doctor from Long Island in US, saved his wife’s life by giving her his kidney. But soon, he received divorce papers from his wife, who was allegedly cheating on him with her physical therapist. She even barred her husband from seeing their three kids. While this was the husband’s version, the wife, however, claimed that the affair existed only in the mind of her husband, who was so paranoid that he would check her underwear for an evidence.
The doctor sued his estranged wife, demanding the kidney back or pay $1.5 million for the organ. Though the doctors maintained that it was impossible and unethical to do so.
2. This woman received a kidney from her husband’s lover
Difficult to believe at once, this is actually a true story. When Meliha Avci, a Turkish woman’s kidney stopped working, she was immediately left in the need of a dialysis thrice a week. During this time, her husband developed a romantic relationship with another woman named Ayse Imdat. When his wife discovered this, she asked him to marry the other lady after she dies. It was when the husband, wife, and the mistress visited Istanbul for surgery, that Imdat, the other woman, insisted to donate her kidney to Meliha and promised to take care of her after the surgery.
“We shared a husband, and now we shared a kidney, ” said the wife.
3. This woman got engaged to the stranger she donated her kidney to
When 25-year-old Ashley McIntyre overheard her grandmother and mother talk about a guy’s story they heard on radio, who needed a kidney transplant, she volunteered to help the stranger. After the testing, their kidneys matched and the transplant was successful. Later, the two started dating.
Today the couple is happily engaged and proud parents of a 1-year-old daughter!
4. Man with suicide victim’s heart later killed himself the same way
In 1995, Sonny Graham was at a risk of congestive heart failure when he was told that a heart was available for transplant. It belonged to 33-year-old Terry Cottle who had shot himself dead. Thankful to have received the heart, Graham wrote letters to the donor’s family. After he met Cheryl Cottle, his donor’s wife who was then 28, he felt an immediate connection and went on to marry her later. The couple had six children and six grandchildren from their previous marriages.
12 years after undergoing the heart transplant, Graham killed himself the same way Terry had. His body was found with a single shotgun wound on the throat.
5. This woman received her husband’s feces as transplant
In 2008, one of Dr. Khoruts’ patient was suffering from gut infection of Clostridium difficile. She was suffering from constant diarrhea, and the condition was so bad that she had to stay in the wheelchair all the time, wearing diapers. When antibiotics didn’t stop the bacteria from growing, the doctor decided that she needed a transplant. But not of an organ!
A sample of her husband’s stool mixed with saline solution was transplanted into her colon, and to everyone’s surprise, diarrhea vanished and so did the infection!
6. A nurse accidentally threw a kidney away
Paul Fudacz had donated a kidney to his 24-year-old elder sister Sarah Fudacz. But before the organ could be transplanted, a nurse at the hospital unknowingly threw the organ which was kept in the temperature controlled slush machine. When the kidney was recovered, it was not in a condition to be used.
The hospital found a new kidney for Sarah that matched her, and also paid for the transportation to Colorado, where the surgery had to be performed. The family, however, decided to sue the hospital for their mistake.
7. This man made his brother sign an agreement saying that he would stop cheering for his arch-rival football team before donating him his kidney
50-year-old Martin Warburton, a Manchester United fan, had his brother playfully sign a note that he won’t support the arch-rival Manchester City, before agreeing to donate him the life-saving cell transplant. Paul was fighting lymphatic leukemia. Martin, a retired management consultant did this to make Paul, 59, a Manchester United supporter.
‘We made a great joke of the contract but he still agreed to sign. I just hope it will save his life’, said Martin.
8. Woman donated kidney to help her boss, got fired in return
This is probably one of the most sad organ-transplant stories. A 47-year-old divorced mother from New York, Debbie Stevens, donated her kidney to a man, to help her boss move up the transplant waiting list. But after Stevens went through the procedure, her boss started to pressurize her to return to work soon. And when she did get back to work, she found that her overtime pay was discontinued and she was demoted to a dealership 50 miles away from home. Later when the lawyers wrote to her boss, Stevens was allegedly fired.
“I decided to become a kidney donor to my boss, and she took my heart”, said the disheartened Stevens.
9. This girl’s blood-type changed after undergoing a transplant
The unusual case of Australia’s 15-year-old Demi-Lee Brennan is one in 6 billion. After the teenager underwent a liver transplant, her body took on the immune system and blood type of her donor. Not just this, this reaction of her body even negated the need to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life.
Nine months after the operation, when her condition worsened, the doctors were shocked to see that her blood group had changed from O-positive to O-negative.
10. This man wore a sandwich board for a year to find a kidney for his wife
78-year-old Larry Swilling from America used to walk around streets wearing a sandwich sign board, seeking a kidney-donor for his ailing wife of 57 years. His wife, Jimmie Sue, was born with only one kidney and needed a new one after her only kidney started to fail. Mr. Swilling and the couple’s three children proved to be unsuitable matches and there was a long waiting list for a suitable organ.
Finally, in September 2013, a retired Navy lieutenant commander Kelly Weaverling’s kidney matched his wife’s kidney and a transplant was carried out.