Woman finds kidney match in the most unlikely place

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The National Kidney Foundation says more than 115,000 people need a lifesaving organ transplant. Of them, more than 96,000 need a kidney transplant.

Until last week, that was true for one Tri-State woman.

Michelle Calvert has battled diabetes for most of her life, and because of it, her kidneys started to fail. Last week, she found her donor after being on a transplant list for a few months.

After getting into a fender bender when they were younger, Kevin and Michelle Calvert of Lebanon were set up on a blind date years later. Fourteen years ago they were married.

But, neither knew how much they'd really need one another.

"I know that there was a reason for us being together," said Michelle Calvert.

Michelle's kidneys were failing because of her diabetes, which forced her to dialysis. But, it was one of the unlikeliest of matches that would help save her.

"We had my brother tested, and he wasn't a match. So, then my husband came along, and he was the match," said Michelle.

In fact, doctors told Kevin Calvert he was nearly a perfect match for his wife. Doctors told them it was very rare that a spouse would be that close of a match. Last week, they had surgery in adjoining rooms at UC Medical Center.

"It was like a large weight had been lifted off our shoulders knowing that right there in our own household was her match," said Kevin Calvert.

Kevin just wanted to be there for his wife much like the promise they made when they were married 14 years ago.

"She's been through a lot. A lot of hard times. I've seen her cry more nights than smile in the past few years.  It's really nice to be able to see her smile," Kevin told FOX19.

The couple is still on the road to recovery. Michelle is taking anti-rejection medications for her new kidney. Her husband told FOX19 that he's very glad his wife's body can now take care of itself.

The National Kidney Foundation says each month, 3,000 patients are added to the kidney waiting list.

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