Donors give kidneys to complete strangers, saving lives at Yale-New Haven Hospital

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — “Now I’m a donor. Everyone should put it on their driver’s license to save someone’s life.”

The act of giving yourself to save someone else is altruism at its finest. It was shown over and over again at Yale-New Haven Hospital, which put them in the record books for kidney donations.

Eighteen people and nine kidney donations. Many of those people came together on Thursday just weeks after their surgeries.

They wanted to share their collective and amazing story of how going out of your way for others can create a life saving chain reaction.

“This kidney is doing so well in me, it’s a part of me. We’ll be connected for life.”

One successful living kidney donation to save a life makes for a great story.

“I’m in awe, even greater because we are cut from the same cloth. He’s like my 30-year-old twin,” said Mike Murphy, a kidney recipient.

Meet Cory and Mike Murphy. They share the same last name, even have similar mo-hawks, but these two were total strangers.

Cory is from Bridgeport and Mike is from New York City, but they were brought together by a kidney.

“My mom was in stage four kidney failure. I wanted to donate, but we weren’t a match,” said Cory Murphy, a kidney donor.

And that’s where Yale-New Haven comes in. 18 patients and 9 kidney transplants in 7 weeks. It’s one of the largest kidney swaps in the United States and the largest ever in Connecticut. It’s something that even took doctors by surprise.

“Maybe we could do 4, 6, 5, really?”

What makes this story so unique is that all these people came together to give to a loved one and ended up giving to a total stranger.

“Half the pairs could have donated, but they chose the opportunity to help others,” said Dr. Sanjay Kulkarni of Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Of the nine people desperate for a kidney, Yale had four compatible donor matches, but used a computer algorithm to get the addition five.

Precious Chiles went to Yale to give her kidney to her sister, but ended up donating to a woman she had never even met, Cory Murphy’s mom.

“We just met today, I fee like I’ve known her,” said Chiles.

Doctors at Yale say this is not just a kidney story, but a story of heart where people were moved to give to a total stranger, creating a chain of grateful and now healthy lives.

“I have this dancer energy!”

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