After Chatting in the Bathroom, They Realized They Were Kidney Matches for Each Other's Husbands

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Two co-workers donated kidneys to each other's husband in an absolutely remarkable tale that can only be qualified as serendipity.

Tia Wimbush and Susan Ellis had worked together at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for a decade but had not been particularly close prior to a conversation they had last year in the bathroom at work. In just one conversation, the women learned that they each had spouses who needed a kidney transplant, as per The Washington Post.

Upon discovering that neither woman was a match to donate an organ to their own husband, the women casually discussed their husband's blood type. Quickly, upon learning they were AB and 0 respectively, the women realized they could potentially help each other's husbands.

In a wild twist of fate, antibody tests revealed that each woman was a match for the other's spouse; less than a year after that conversation in the bathroom, Wimbush donated one of her kidneys to Lance Ellis, and Susan Ellis donated one of hers to Rodney Wimbush.

Tia Wimbush told The Post that the men have "almost fully recovered" and "each gained the gift of health and more years."

"It’s wonderful to see how they now have quality of life after so many years of dialysis treatments,” she told the publication.

And in case you thought this wasn't as truly coincidental as it sounds, The Post talked to Christina Klein, a nephrologist and medical director of Piedmont’s kidney transplant program, who called it "extremely rare for two people to propose their own paired organ exchange and actually be a match for each other."

“I’ve personally never seen this happen,” Klein told the paper. “When we put pairs into large databases for national paired exchange programs, some pairs wait months or even years for a compatible match.”

Who knew chit-chat could quite literally change entire lives?

Tags: Giving

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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