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Local Women Part Of Donation Chain

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By Rachel Holt

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A recent donation chain featured three donors and three recipients, two of whom are from Twin Falls.

Brandy Burkhart was in need of a new kidney.

After years of waiting on the donor list, friend Kristy Buffington decided it was time to help... in a big way.

"My motivation was to help Brandy, but in the end I think it helped out everyone,” Buffington said.

Buffington is a perfectly healthy mother of two.

Burkhart was not, in need of a new kidney.

Buffington decided to donate hers to her friend.

“It’s a month of your life that you have to recover, and after that life goes on, and its normal and someone else... their life is greatly improved because of it. I couldn't find a reason not to do it,” she said.

The two friends weren't a match, but a donation chain allowed for Burkhart to get the organ she needed.

"My kidney went to a two year old who needed a kidney, and then his father donated a kidney to another man that had been on dialysis for three years, and then Brandy's kidney came from a good Samaritan donor. So there was three donors and three recipients,” Buffington said.

"It's really exciting. I'm very happy and I feel very healthy, and I'm very thankful that Kristy, who has taken a great leap of faith of not knowing what she was getting herself into, and I think that takes a very special person, and all of the other people who were involved as well," Burkhart said.

Brandy and Kristy's daughters, also best friends, took comfort in the fact that they were going through their moms' surgeries together.

"We were both staying at my grandma's house, and we saw each other every day… that gave some relief that I wasn't all alone in this," Hailee Burkhart, 12, said.

"When it was happening, I was really scared, but once it was done I was fine," Gracy Buffington, 11, shared.

"My mom is doing much better now, she's okay now, and she's happy." Hailee added.

The two women recently went back to Utah, where the surgeries took place, and met with the other donors and recipients.

They say everyone is doing well post surgery.


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