An Alaska woman may get a second shot at life after a chance meeting reunited her with a kind-hearted former co-worker.
Terri Teas has suffered from a congenital disease that gave her abnormally high cholesterol and has been causing her kidneys to fail for years, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The former nurse, who is in her early 60s, even had to retire early from her career due to her illness.
"Dialysis made me feel somewhat better, but it is not a cure," Teas told ABC News.
A new kidney could significantly prolong her life, according to ADN. Without a transplant, her condition would worsen and she would die.
Teas' son wanted to donate a kidney to his mother, but during the course of compatibility screenings, doctors discovered that he had kidney issues of his own: A benign tumor that disqualified him as a donor.
Things looked grim until Teas ran into former co-worker Judie Wolfe in a hospital hallway. The two had worked in the same medical office years ago, and while they remained friendly, they had never been friends -- until now.
When Wolfe learned of Teas' trouble, she reached out to her and offered to donate a kidney.
“Everybody should have quality of life, that's what life is about,” Wolfe told Seattle's Q13 FOX News. “I just sort of knee-jerked and said, ‘Well, if you need a kidney, let me know.'”
Wolfe passed her compatibility screenings, and the two women are set to undergo the transplant on Monday, Oct. 8 at Seattle's Swedish Medical Center. Dr. Marquis Hart, who will perform the surgery, told Q13 that Wolfe's donation was "a tremendous gift."
"Oftentimes [patients] have to wait three, four, five years to get a kidney transplant," Hart said.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 105,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ, and an average of 18 people die every day while waiting. One donor can save the lives of up to eight people.
ABC News reports that organ donation received a bump earlier this year following the introduction of a new feature on Facebook that allows users to share their donor status.
Watch the Fox News report below:
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The Grammy-winning singer underwent kidney transplant surgery in 2009. <br> <br> Cole's <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-05-21/gossip/17922645_1_new-kidney-natalie-cole-tour-dates" target="_hplink">kidney problems</a>, which began as a result of hepatitis C treatment, meant she had to have dialysis thrice weekly prior to the transplant, the <em>New York Daily News</em> reported.
Shelley Fabares, an actress on the TV show "Coach," had a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=114015&page=1#.T7E9ip9Ytvc" target="_hplink">liver transplant</a> in 2000 after an autoimmune disease deteriorated her liver, ABC News reported.
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The former vice president underwent a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/24/dick-cheney-heart-transplant_n_1377487.html" target="_hplink">heart transplant</a> earlier this year, after enduring years of heart problems (including heart attacks). The Associated Press reported that Cheney, 71, had five heart attacks in the last 25 years. <br> <br> Cheney had previously had a "left ventricular assist device," or LVAD, installed to help his heart to pump blood. Had had also undergone quadruple bypass surgery, a pacemaker operation and two angioplasties, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/24/dick-cheney-heart-transplant_n_1377487.html" target="_hplink">Associated Press reported</a>.
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