Teacher donates kidney to Facebook stranger



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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A middle school teacher is doing well after donating her kidney to a stranger she found through Facebook.

Buffy Sexton, a seventh-grade science teacher in Louisville, Ky., underwent surgery Thursday for a man she had never met before the transplant: John Desmond. The father of two had come down with bacterial meningitis a year ago, and the antibiotics used to treat him ultimately led to kidney failure, according to WDRB.

Desperate for a match, Desmond's wife, Tina, posted a plea on Facebook. Sexton saw the post when it was shared by another friend: "I'm looking for a living kidney donor for my husband. He's got to have a kidney and it just feels like the right thing to do," it said.

About Kidney donation:
The major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. When the kidney is not functioning properly, the body is unable to maintain a stable balance of chemicals.

If a kidney fails and other treatments do not work, a transplant may be necessary. The kidney may come from a deceased person or from a living relative, friend, or even a stranger.

  • The kidney is the most common "living donation" — meaning a living person donates the organ.
  • A living kidney usually begins to function immediately, meaning a recipient may not need dialysis.
  • Kidney transplantation is highly successful, and success rates continue to improve, although some kidneys are rejected by the body.

Sexton found out after six months of testing that she was a perfect match, and she decided to move forward with the surgery.

"To give with receiving nothing in return, I mean, it's like the coolest thing ever," Sexton told WLKY.

She'll be out of the classroom for a month, but is turning the surgery into a lesson for her students. She had her doctor film the surgery so she can use it for a lesson on kidneys.

Desmond said he could not thank Sexton enough.

"I could win $100 million in the lottery today — I would give it all to her and it still would not be enough," he said.

Sexton is not the only person to make headlines in recent months for donating a kidney to a stranger found on Facebook. In November, a Georgia man donated a kidney to the daughter of a woman his wife got to know while playing "Farm Town."

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Stephanie Grimes

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