Health Plus: Organ Donor, Part 2 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Organ Donor, Part 2

OELWEIN (KWWL) -- Would you donate an organ to a co-worker?

One eastern Iowa woman said yes to that question.

In Health Plus, the kidney transplant that saved a man's life and bonded two hospital workers for life.

Brenda Brighton had no idea her co-worker at Mercy Hospital in Oelwein was sick.

"I actually didn't know until he put himself on the transplant list and I was like, 'You're not sick. You don't look sick,'" she said.

But Bill Specht's kidneys were failing.

Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in '97, the 46-year-old needed a transplant.

When the nurse practitioner found himself next to his EMT co-worker on the treadmill, fate stepped in.

"We're just kinda talking about it and she said, 'I'll give you a kidney!' and she called the number and it kind progressed from there," he said.

It happened that quickly.

Brenda was a match--a day of testing at the University of Wisconsin in Madison confirmed it.

The procedure happened there in June.

Removing Bill's diseased kidneys and replacing them with one of Brenda's.

"She truly gave the gift of life. I'm very appreciative of that," he said.

"It couldn't have gone to a better person. And my theory behind things is what goes around comes around. It's kind of karma. So if I ever need something it's my belief that it will come back to me," she said.

Outside of the surgery risk, Brenda says there are no long term health consequences for her.

In fact she's back to kickboxing and already ran a 5K.

"I would do it again in a heartbeat," she said.

Bill's got his color back and a commitment to make sure Brenda doesn't forget his appreciation.

"I've given her several cards since then. I don't want her to think I forgot or don't appreciate what she did for me and I think we'll be friends for life," he said.

Some of Bill's other co-workers at Mercy took a blood test to see if they were a donor match for him as well.

Online reporter/Anchor: Tara Thomas

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