A Kansas City Dream Factory teenager who has been on a waiting list for a new kidney for two months finally has one.
KMBC first reported on Matthew Lee’s story in March, when he received an iPad to use during his dialysis sessions three times a week.
Lee, 17, got the kidney transplant in a surgery that was big for him and a first for Children’s Mercy Hospital.
“That’s the first time we’ve transplanted two patients simultaneously,” said Dr. Bradley Warady.
One donor gave two kidneys. One of them went to a teenager who had been waiting for two years. Lee received the other.
“Tragedy on one side is a gift of life for these two teenagers,” said pediatric transplant surgeon Dr. Richard Hendrickson. “I think they realize that and the families realize that and now they can be productive and go one with their lives.”
The time spent in the hospital helped nurture Lee’s aspirations. The new kidney also made a difference.
“I do want to go to college. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I thought about being a nurse or wanting to go into nursing,” he said.
He said he’s eager to go back to school in the fall. While he won’t have to go back to dialysis, he will have to go back for medical checkups. He’ll be at the hospital for a few more days and then stay at the Ronald McDonald House for a week before returning home.
Lee has spent a lot of time on his new iPad, talking with the other kidney recipient on Facebook. Both teens said they feel like they gained a brother.