Daughter gives mom new life with 3-way kidney donation

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A south suburban daughter going above and beyond to save her mom from a life-threatening illness. (WLS)

A Lansing, Illinois, daughter went above and beyond to save her mom from a life-threatening illness.

Dyamond Lindsey wanted to help her mother who was in stage 5 renal failure but testing showed they weren't compatible.

So Dyamond donated a kidney to a stranger in San Antonio, Texas. In exchange, her mom received a much needed kidney transplant.

Sonja Lindsey is now on the road to recovery.

"I feel like I have a new body," said mother Sonja Lindsey.

She does have a new kidney, which she received four days ago in a kidney transplant at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

This comes after the south suburban wife and mother of four was diagnosed in December of 2014 with end-stage renal failure.

She was going to dialysis three days a week and was on the waiting list for a kidney - a wait that could have lasted at least five years.

That is, until her daughter Dyamond got tested to see if she was a match for her mother.

"They tested my blood with her blood to make sure there was no reaction, and there was a huge reaction. My antibodies were too high for her kidney," said Sonja.

But Dyamond knew about the paired kidney donation exchange program, which allows a recipient and living donor, who are not a compatible match, to be matched with another donor and recipient to exchange kidneys.

"You have two kidneys. You can live with one. A full, healthy life, so you will be ok," said Dyamond, who donated her kidney to a patient in San Antonio.

After waiting for about a year, Dyamond turned out to be a match for a kidney patient in San Antonio.

The patient is a woman whose husband was a mismatch for her, but a good match for Sonja Lindsey.

So Sonja's doctor coordinated her procedure with the one in Texas, resulting in an organ swap.

"They flew the kidney from San Antonio to Midway Airport. We drove ours to Midway Airport, exchanged the kidneys," said Dr. Deepak Mital of Advocate Christ Medical Center.

The Lindseys do not know the couple in San Antonio, but Sonja says they have impacted each other's lives by allowing incompatible donors to still make transplants possible for their loved ones.

"He has his intentions on wanting to help his wife, to keep her living. My daughter has her intentions to want to continue to give me life and we were able to do a swap and we saved each other's lives," said Sonja.

Sonja and her daughter would like to meet the San Antonio couple some day and they hope their doctor can help with those arrangements.

Meanwhile, Sonja says she feels much better. She's done with dialysis and is going home today.
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