Houston, Texas– Two Texas families have a lot to thank for as the new year begins. Just a few weeks ago they were strangers – now they share an enduring bond after getting together for a life-saving kidney swap.
Leticia McQueen learned almost six years ago that she was born with only one kidney and it failed. She was put on dialysis, but years went by without suitable kidneys. Her kidney function dropped to less than five percent of normal.
“It bothers you a lot. Every birthday goes by and you think, well, will I be there for the next one?” Leticia said.
Leticia’s daughter Audrey wanted to donate her a kidney. She was tested, but she wasn’t a direct match for her mother. However, she matched someone else.
Geraldina Beltran also suffered from chronic kidney disease and urgently needed a transplant. Her son Antonio also wanted to donate a kidney to his mother. He didn’t suit her – but he did suit Leticia.
“There are probably almost 100,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list in this country, and that really doesn’t include all the people who might be transplant candidates,” said Dr. Steve Bynon of UTHealth Houston and Memorial Hermann. “Truly live donations really are the best response to fill that gap or fill that gap.”
On November 11, 2022, Antonio and Audrey donated a kidney to each other’s mothers as part of the Living Kidney Donor program at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
“You never think that when you’re a kid you’re going to save your parents’ lives,” Audrey said. “That in itself is almost unbelievable, that we were able to do that, to be able to save my mother’s life and to give her many more years with us is flawless.”
“It’s incredible to think about how many coincidences or things have to happen for these two worlds to meet,” Antonio said.
ABC13 caught up with the two families when they first met after their life-saving surgery. For more information on Memorial Hermann’s living kidney donor program, click here here.
https://abc7.com/kidney-swap-memorial-hermann-uthealth-houston/12647244/ The kidney swap at Memorial Hermann Hospital brings together two Texas families