Tuesday, August 25, 2009

He might not be punctual, but Phoenix taxi-driver saves woman's life

Are some things more important than being on time? This woman thinks so.

Woman's Taxi Driver Is Kidney Match
August 24, 2009
Rita Van Loenen had no idea that a trip in Thomas Chappell's taxi cab could end up being the ride that saves her life.

...But even more shocking to her was that doctors found they had the same blood type, that they were compatible.

"...If we were a closer match, we would've been siblings. I was ready to fall off the floor," Van Loenen said...

Last year, Van Loenen, an instructor in special education methods, began feeling ill and experiencing water retention in her legs. She went to see a doctor and was diagnosed with kidney disease. With kidney failure setting in, friends and family were tested but there was no match.

In February, she received her cousin's kidney but that transplant failed. One day, Van Loenen, 63, found herself telling Chappell, 56, about how her son was now going to get tested. Chappell decided to add his name to the list.

"I said 'Rita, your son's a whole lot younger than me. He's got a lot more years. I'm gonna go down and go through the process and see if it will work.' I don't think she really believed I was going to."..

It wasn't an auspicious beginning.

Chappell was half an hour late picking Van Loenen up for a dialysis appointment.
"When I got there she was not happy," Chappell said...

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