The first time these two strangers met Monday night, they already had a bond stronger than most.
Deming, who is in End Stage Renal Failure, the last stage of chronic kidney disease, began petitioning for a new kidney with roadside signs, pleas written on her car windows and through her “A Kidney for Linda” Facebook page she created for her efforts.The word spread like wildfire and unlike the projected three to five-year wait list to receive a transplant, Deming, of Pownal, Maine, located a perfect match in McIntyre, a complete stranger from two hours away, through social media.
But McIntyre, 37, has no idea how she even stumbled across the Facebook page.
“To this day, I don’t know how it even popped up,” the mother-of-4 told WMTW. “Nobody I know had even commented on it. I hadn’t even heard of it before. It was just there one night, and I saw it and thought, ‘Yeah.’ Very random.”
The decision was a no-brainer for McIntyre.
“It was the right thing to do. I would want someone to do it for me or my family,” she said.
The two women are now both in recovery after undergoing a successful transplant at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Tuesday.
“I think I’m still numb. I know it’s happened, but I don’t know how I got so lucky to find somebody that would give me my life back,” Deming told ABC News today while fighting back tears. “It turned out wonderfully and I’m just blessed.”
Courtesy Ian Deming
“Both ends of the surgical procedures went well,” Deming’s husband, Ian, added. “Linda’s creatinine levels are half of what they were pre-surgery, a feat that can only be accomplished by a highly functioning kidney. She had her breakfast sitting up in a chair and just took her first post-op walk in the hallway.”
His wife is now looking forward to many more walks in the hallway, especially one with McIntyre.
“I went into her room today and I just gave her a kiss and asked her how she was feeling,” Deming said of visiting with her donor. “She’s hoping we can walk the halls later.”
When asked what Deming is most excited about with her new lease on life, her response was simple.
“I’m just so excited. Period,” she said.