Mother turns to Facebook for kidney transplant

Posted: 11/23/12 at 12:30 am EST      Last Updated: 11/23/12 at 11:46 pm EST

DRACUT, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Dracut mom who needed a kidney transplant turned to Facebook for help. Not only did she get the transplant, but she also now has a lifelong friend.

They talk like they've been friends forever, but they've only known each other for weeks. Now the bond that connects them will span a lifetime.

“It's called Polycystic kidney disease, or P.K.D. for short,” said Olga Gauthier.

Gauthier's kidneys were failing her and after two years on a donor list she decided to turn to Facebook in hopes of finding a match.

Shannon Gouveia knew nothing about live kidney donations, but when she saw the page with Olga and her daughter, she felt compelled to help.

“We were same age mothers, both the same blood type,” said Gouveia. “I felt very strong. I felt that I had to do this and it was the right thing to do.”

They finally met three days before the surgery in October after numerous tests and screenings and when they finally had the surgery, both were surprised how easy it was to save a life.

“They took her kidney, flushed it, put it into me, flushed it and started working right away,” said Gauthier.

It has been 5 weeks since the operation and their constant laughter shows how quickly they've recovered.

“There is a solid connection,” said Gouveia.

She'll be in my life forever,” said Gauthier.

And the bond created made giving thanks this holiday even more profound.

“I was so lucky that she came into my life. Thank you so much for being such an amazing person, and so selfless to give me this gift,” said Gauthier.

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