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After 30 years of marriage, Rita Ayub wasn't going to sit idle and watch her husband Oscar's health deteriorate. They were supposed to be living their dream of traveling and enjoying retirement, but instead, Oscar's sudden kidney failure left them in a cycle of dialysis and exhaustion. Rita desperately wanted to donate a kidney to her husband and spare him from dialysis treatments three times a week, but unfortunately she was not a match.
|Oscar and Rita following
kidney transplant surgery.
The Sharp Memorial Hospital Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program offered the Ayubs an alternative to waiting on the traditional cadaver transplant list, which can take years. Sharp Memorial is the only hospital in San Diego which is a part of the National Kidney Registry (NKR), a nonprofit organization which facilitates living donor transplants.
Oftentimes, people want to donate directly to their family members or close friends, but are not an ideal match. The NKR connects people willing to donate their kidney to someone they don't know in exchange for their loved one getting a compatible kidney.
On Aug. 25, 2010, Rita and Oscar participated in the nation's largest kidney donation chain, which ended at Sharp Memorial. Rita was able to donate her kidney to a patient she had never met in exchange for Oscar receiving a kidney from a patient in New York. The record-shattering chain included 22 donations. Just days after his surgery, Oscar was dancing in his chair and talking about taking Rita on a cruise to Mexico.
Rita and Oscar enjoy life after kidney transplant surgery.
With the surgeries past them, and dialysis no longer necessary, Oscar and Rita are finally going to enjoy their retirement together. And while this particular donation chain came to an end, the NKR and Sharp Memorial continuously work to begin new chains to help other patients with kidney failure start a new life.For More Information