Childhood pals linked by kidney transplant

March 1, 2008 7:24:58 AM PST
Two grade-school friends from New York City who are now connected by more than shared memories are recovering after one gave the other a kidney.

Recipient Ricardo Manier called donor Karl Celestin's gift "a lifeline" at a news conference Friday. It came less than two weeks after the surgery at a Manhattan hospital.

The 21-year-old Manier has been hospitalized repeatedly with a kidney-scarring disease since he was 5. The illness forced him to put his premedical studies on hold last June.

Celestin is studying for a medical degree in the Dominican Republic. Manier hopes to join him.

The two were classmates at Holy Family School in Queens. They reconnected last year through the social networking Web site Facebook.