Kidney chain involving Porter Hospital could be largest ever

Exchange includes dozens of donors and recipients

DENVER - Denver's Porter Hospital is one of 13 nationwide participating in one of the largest kidney exchange programs ever.

Michelle Martin and Jerome Peralta, both of metro Denver, are part of that chain.

Martin donated her good kidney in exchange for a kidney match for Peralta.

Peralta suffers from kidney failure.

"To see the smile on his daughter's faces, now that they know their dad is going to be alive and healthy, that's the best feeling ever," said Martin.

"She's given me life again," said Peralta. "It's hard to say where I'd be right now otherwise."

Dr. Mark Jones, a donor transplant surgeon at Porter, says Michelle should suffer no quality of life issues for donating a kidney.

Jones said altruistic donors, such as Martin, are some of the most selfless people in the world.

"They're very confident, and they don't show a lot of anxiety," said Jones.

"It's kind of just how I was raised," said Martin. "My family was, 'do whatever we can to help anyone.'"

If all goes well her friend, Jerome, could benefit for decades from his new kidney.

What started as a friendship has developed into an unbreakable bond.

"She's a beautiful person," said Peralta.

To see more on the nationwide kidney exchange, our partners at ABC News and Nightline will air an extended version on Tuesday night after Jimmy Kimmel.

Print this article Back to Top