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Stories: Leo

A second chance at life

When Leo Cruz found out that he needed a new kidney, his devoted daughter Maria Smythe immediately agreed to help. For Maria, donating a kidney was a small price to pay to ensure her father’s survival.

But when Maria and Leo went in for testing before surgery, they were confronted with devastating news—their blood types were incompatible, making a kidney donation from Maria impossible. Worse, further testing revealed that no one in Leo’s family was a match.

When Leo’s situation appeared hopeless, his physicians at the Swedish Organ Transplant and Liver Center had an idea that could change everything. They suggested that Maria and Leo participate in a three-way paired kidney exchange, where three willing but mismatched donors would be paired with three recipients in urgent need, including Leo.

Maria readily agreed to take part in the exchange—ultimately helping to save her father’s life and that of two other patients who needed a kidney transplant.

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