Although some of us may think that doctors are tough as nails and have their ways of not getting sick, the crude reality is that doctors are human beings and can get sick just like anyone. It’s not uncommon for doctors to help each other in case one of them comes down with a disease, but it’s pretty rare to hear about a doctor who put his life at risk in order to save another one.
The press has recently picked up the story of a surgeon from California who donated one of her kidneys to a colleague in need. Dr. Colleen Coleman is a 51-year-old surgeon working at the Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.
As fate would have it, Dr. Coleman befriended one of her colleagues, a Dr. Brian Dunn, a skilled anesthesiologist. Sadly, Dr. Dunn was a weather-beaten individual. According to his colleagues, when Dunn was just a teenager, he received the worst kind of news from his doctor – cancer.
Dunn had a stomach tumor, and during his adolescence, he was subjected to multiple chemo sessions. Although the procedure was successful in ridding him of the cancerous outgrowth, it irreversibly damaged his kidneys.
By the time he was 25, the anesthesiologist had received a healthy kidney from his mother. Things were shaping up for the soon-to-be-doctor, until the beginning of 2015, when his health took a turn for the worst.
As his health declined, Dunn found it harder to fulfill his hospital duties and to take care of his six-year-old daughter. Before the transplant, Dr. Dunn had dialysis at least four times a day in order to filter out the toxins from his bloodstream.
After learning about her colleague’s condition, Dr. Coleman decided to give up one of her kidneys in order to save him. When recalling the events leading to the transplant, Dr. Coleman said that there were many obstacles.
Before Coleman volunteered, Dunn was forced to reject a possible donor on the account that he might have ALS. After Coleman had decided to went through with the procedure, the initial tests showed that she was not a compatible donor, forcing her to abandon her plans.
However, last year, the company who conducted the compatibility tests told Coleman that there’s been a mistake and that she’s compatible. The surgery took place a month later and was deemed a success. Dunn was so happy about Coleman’s decision of giving up a kidney that he gifted her a pair of kidney-shaped golden earring from Tiffany and several other kidney-shaped gag gifts.
Image source: Flickr