Family Life

One good deed sets off chain of life-saving kidney donations

When Kimberly Cooper planned on donating her Kidney, she had no idea the domino effect of generosity it would set off. 

Kimberly and Brendan Flaherty were strangers, but now they are linked together forever, through a kidney transplant. 

In a Chicago hospital, Brendan was preparing to receive a kidney from his childhood best friend, Phillip Cameli. 

Phillip turned out not to be the match Brendan needed, so he received Kimberly's kidney. 

Phillip went ahead and donated his kidney anyway, starting off a chain reaction that would lead to life-changing donations for six other people. 

"I've made a lot of selfish decisions in my life," Phillip told CBS. "I thought that this would be a really great opportunity to kind of amend those decisions."

Kimberly is astounded at the chain reaction that her generosity caused. 

As it t turned out, Philip's kidney was a match for Clotilde Ruiz, whose daughter Daisy was rejected as her donor. Paying it forward, Daisy's kidney was a match to Scott Rial, and so it went until a dozen donors and recipients were matched. 

The donors and recipients met for the first time, and there was tears and hugs all around . 

"Thank you very much for giving me the freedom to be able to live my life the way I want to live it, not tied up to a machine 10 hours a night," Brendan thanked Kimberly. 

As for the woman who started it all, she is delighted that her lineage can live on. 

"I'm going to have a lineage to someone who's going to live on," said Kimberly. "That's more than money and that's more than words."

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