Nurse is Surprise Donor for Kidney Transplant Patient

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Tuesday morning at Methodist Hospital a kidney recipient was re-united with his donor.

Terry Slende’s prognosis is good after receiving a new kidney last August. He thought he was meeting his donor for the first time Tuesday — but it turns out he knew her well.

Anna Boelman is far from a stranger to Terry. She is one of the nurses who led Terry through his first kidney transplant in March of last year.

Terry had to give up that kidney when complications arose. He says the Iowa Methodist team felt like family during that time and that feeling was returned.

“My first reaction was not sadness about the kidney, it’s that I was so amazed about the team that was surrounding me. I was not alone in this thing,” Terry said.

“I got to know him and his wife, we really bonded, how could you not bond with Terry, he is very easy to get along with even when things weren`t working out with his transplant he kept such high spirits and that really spoke to me,” said Anna.

So, Anna secretly checked to see if she was a donor and learned she was a match. She made a living donation in August.

Terry says he was surprised when Anna wasn’t there for his second surgery care, but now understands why.

“Behind every scar is an untold story of survival and you are the hero to mine. Thank you,” Terry said as he hugged Anna.

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