The Match That Saved Her Life

Bonnie and Craig

Bonnie was running out of time. Her kidneys had failed, and life on dialysis was no life at all. Fortunately, Bonnie and her husband, Craig, participated in a historic four-way paired kidney exchange– the first one performed in Florida. Made possible by the Miami Transplant Institute’s Paired Kidney Exchange Program – the only initiative of its kind in the region – four people were matched to each donate a kidney to four strangers, all so their loved ones could receive the gift of life.

Best friends and married for 35 years, Craig was always there for his wife – actively supporting her drive to accomplish her professional and personal goals. When she got sick and was placed on dialysis, he sought help and came across the Paired Kidney Exchange Program.

After extensive testing, it was discovered that Craig was a match, by participating in the Paired Kidney Exchange Program, a better match was identified which allowed Bonnie and Craig’s kidney recipient to have a greater chance of success.

“My primary motivations were to help her live a full, long, healthy life, that would allow her to be a part of our sons’ lives for many, many years to come,” Craig said. "As a bonus, I am also able to help someone whom I did not yet know to also receive the gift of life.”

Through the Paired Kidney Exchange Program, Craig donated one of his kidneys to a young mother. This allowed Bonnie to receive a more compatible kidney from another donor who was the mother of a young man.

This selfless act turned Bonnie’s life around. “He is my best friend, my hero – he saved my life and someone else's too,” Bonnie said. “I am so very blessed.”

To learn more about the Paired Kidney Exchange Program and Living Donor Kidney Program, visit MiamiTransplant.org. .