Woman gets kidney match in grocery store checkout line

LEE COUNTY, GA (WKEF) – A woman got a life-saving gift from someone she met in a grocery store checkout line.

Michelle Davis was working as a cashier when a customer began asking her questions about her health.

The customer, a nurse, had noticed Davis had a dialysis catheter and offered to help out.

“Lorene just came through my line one day. And she said, ‘What’s your blood type?’ and, I was like, ‘god, this lady is weird,’ ya know? And I was like, O-positive. And she gives me a high-five, and she’s like, ‘Mine too!’ and I was like, ‘OK.’ I didn’t really know what she was leading up to,” Michelle Davis said.

Hansen is a nurse at Phoebe Sumter and is a frequent customer at Davis’ store. And, after noticing Davis’ dialysis catheter, she decided to help.

“She goes, do you need a kidney transplant? I was like, ‘Yes ma’am.’ And she goes, ‘Here’s my name and number. Call me and let me know what I need to do to give you a kidney,’” Davis said.

“She gave me the number, I called Piedmont. They did a cross match of our blood and, if you can believe it, we’re not even relatives – we’re a perfect cross-match,” Lorene Hansen said.

Davis had been a in need of a kidney since last June.

“In 2005, I had my first kidney transplant by a deceased donor. It lasted about nine and a half years. The normal is about five years for a deceased donor,” Davis said.

So, Hansen researched live kidney donation, which usually allows the recipient a full life without a functional limit. As a mother of six and grandmother of 10, Hansen’s maternal instinct kicked in.

“She’s the same age as one of my youngest daughters. So, the things that my youngest daughter always takes for granted, and always enjoys, Michelle will get to do those same things too,” Hanson said.

Davis will go back to school soon as a pre-med student at Darton State College. She hopes to become an anesthesiologist, and hopes more people will consider becoming living donors.

“If more people were just aware of how simple it is to give an organ and help save someone’s life, literally. I think it would be more plausible,” Davis said.

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