DALLAS — A Plano couple is grateful for their health this Thanksgiving, after a fairly new procedure in North Texas allowed the wife with a different blood type than her husband to give him a kidney.
Lisa Justice met her husband, Mark, on Match.com
"We hit it off right off the bat and been together ever since," he said.
He knew right away that he liked her, but he had no idea how much he'd need her. Lisa knew Mark had battled diabetes for decades. He proposed during Christmas 2012. One month later, Mark's kidneys failed.
"I called my mom crying," said Lisa. "Just had to turn it over to God, and just have faith that it would happen, and it's all in God's time."
The couple married and time did pass. They spent the last four years on a wait list for a deceased donor. Lisa wanted to help, but her blood type is B, his is O.
"Conventionally, blood type B can't donate an organ to blood type O," said Dr. Mark Lerman, who was treating Mark at Medical City Hospital in Dallas.
But Dr. Lerman had another option, very new to North Texas. It's called ABO Incompatible Transplant surgery, which allows a living donor with a different blood type to give an organ to someone in need.
"We were able to slowly remove the antibodies from his plasma that would have injured the donor kidney," said Dr. Lerman.
Lisa didn't hesitate. She scheduled her surgery, then Mark had his.
"I was just totally amazed with the whole process, that it could even be done," said Mark.
His body is accepting her organ with no problem. They're talking about finally going on a honeymoon, three-and-a-half years after their wedding. It is what they're most thankful for this holiday.
Mark found his match online, in love and in kidneys.
"I'm very grateful," said Lisa. "He has life, we have each other!"