After having not felt well for weeks, Christine Royles, a South Portland, Maine, restaurant worker and mother of one, took time off to visit her doctor. The diagnosis he gave her was devastating: She had Lupus and Anca Vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that affects blood vessels. As a result, both her kidneys were failing, and she would need a transplant. Royles, only 23, was placed on a donor transplant list along with 100,000 other people, then waited for a call.
But Royles grew impatient. Being tethered to a dialysis machine for ten hours a day will have that effect. So, using a marker, she wrote an ad on the rear of her Kia in the hope that some kindhearted soul would see it and respond. The ad read: Looking for someone 2 donate their kidney. Must have Type O blood (You only need one kidney.)” She then included her phone number.
Josh Dall-Leighton was on a shopping trip with his family when he spotted the plea on the back of the Kia. According to the Portland Press Herald Dall-Leighton, a 30-year-old corrections officer and father of three, immediately told his wife, “I need to do this.”
He called the number on the ad, then took the requisite tests that proved he was a match.
Last June, doctors successfully removed both of Royles’ kidneys and replaced them with one of Dall-Leighton’s kidneys.
Royles’ debatable (or brilliant) solution brought out the heroism in Dall-Leighton, though he doesn’t see it that way. His actions were practical, he told the Press Herald, “If my wife needed a kidney, and I couldn’t provide for her, I would hope that somebody else would help her out.”