Sisters Recovering Nicely Following Kidney Transplant

Post a Comment » Written on August 1st, 2007     
Filed under: News
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 1, 2007) – Two sisters – Alice Westlind and Priscilla Richards –  are recovering nicely following kidney transplant surgery 10 days ago at the California Pacific Medical Center, when Alice donated a kidney to her sister whose kidneys were functioning at only 15 percent of efficiency.

Sisters“The outpouring of love and support and prayers has been absolutely overwhelming,” says Mark Westlind, who with his wife, Alice, have served as Evangelical Covenant Church missionaries since 1987. “We are so grateful to all of you for your concern and care for all of us,” he writes in an update this week to family and friends.  The accompanying photo shows Alice (right) and Priscilla.

Both women were released within four days following the surgery, which in itself is unusual, according to another sister, Fran Fostey of Chicago. The tissue match was “off the charts” in terms of closeness, Fostey says, with doctors referring to the two women as the new “poster children” for organ transplants.

“The doctors said that they do not see matches like this very often – usually it is only in identical twins,” Mark notes. The policy of the hospital is to have the donor and recipient in separate rooms, “but the two sisters ‘talked’ them into being together,” he adds.

A friend of the Westlinds, also a kidney donor, reports that some 90,000 individuals in the United Status are waiting for a new kidney, Mark observes. “Now there are 89,999!”

The sisters have been recuperating at Priscilla’s home, with Alice scheduled to arrive in Chicago on Thursday. Alice will be envolved in follow-up examinations for a three-year period – Priscilla will take anti-rejection medications the remainder of her life.

The Westlinds, who have three children, Nils, Natalia and Nicole, began their mission work in Medellín, Colombia, later moving to Bogotá and completing their work in Cartagena. They are now working in Argentina, where they have been serving since 2005.

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