Milwaukee man saved by kidney donation from woman he never met

Posted at 6:38 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 19:38:52-04

There are a lot of people right now on a waiting list for an organ transplant and one Milwaukee woman made it her mission to take someone's name off that list, by donating to a person in need, even if it was a stranger.

Kathryn Kamm was overwhelmed and emotional the first time she met Jonathan Morales at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center.

Kamm gave a piece of herself—her kidney—so that Morales could live.

"It's incredibly rewarding," Kamm said.

Dealing with kidney failure, Morales was on a waiting list for four years. Instead of just waiting, he came up with a unique way to ask for help. He and his fiancee wrote on their cars and were active about his need on social media, that's how Kamm found out

"In the end, it just came down to if somebody I loved needed something like this I would hope that someone else would step forward and be tested and do it," Kamm said.

Morales was thankful to her for what she did.

"I was just very happy and speechless, I definitely feel much better. I can definitely feel a difference in my body," Morales said.

St. Luke's officials say on average they only do 35 transplants a year. They say more living organ donors are needed. If you would like to sign up to be an organ donor you can contact Aurora Healthcare at 414-646-0584.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, 96,870 people in the United States are waiting for a kidney transplant, and 19,061 kidney transplants were performed in the United States in 2016. Last year 5,630 kidney transplants were from living donors, nearly 30 percent.

In this part of the country, without a living kidney donor wait times for a transplant from deceased donors can be five years or longer.